Assistant Professor

Associate Member Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesAlicia Byrd
B.S., University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology)

Office:  (501)526-6488 – Biomedical Research Center 1 B405G
Lab: (501)686-5194 – Biomedical Research Center 1 B408
Fax:  (501)686-8169


DNA damage response

DNA damage occurs tens of thousands of times per day in human cells from both endogenous and environmental sources.  In order to preserve the genetic material, cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to detect and repair DNA damage.  However, inaccurate DNA repair can cause genomic instability such as chromosomal rearrangements and expansion of repetitive sequences which can lead to the development of cancer or diseases such as Fragile X Syndrome.  One area my research focuses on is the enzymes that regulate the DNA damage response.  In particular, I am interested in a family of enzymes called helicases which remove secondary structures from DNA and RNA.   At least 10 different human helicases are involved in DNA repair.

My research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of these enzymes using biophysical, biochemical, and cellular techniques including ensemble and single molecule kinetics, proteomics, and genomics. The molecular mechanisms of these proteins, both individually and as components of multi-protein complexes, are of interest, as are the effects of posttranslational modifications on their activity.


Selected Publications

Zafar M, Hazeslip L, Chauhan M, Byrd AK. (2020) Expression of human DNA helicase B is affected by G-quadruplexes in the promoter. Biochemistry doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00218 [Abstract]

Hazeslip L, Zafar MK, Chauhan MZ, Byrd AK. (2020) Genome maintenance by DNA helicase B. Genes (Basel).11(5):E578. [Abstract]

Su N*, Byrd AK*, Bharath SR, Yang O, Jia Y, Tang X, Ha T, Raney KD, Song H. (2019) Structural basis for DNA unwinding at forked dsDNA by two coordinating Pif1 helicases. Nat Commun; 10: 5375. *co-first authors [Abstract]

Byrd, AK and Raney, KD (2015) “A parallel quadruplex DNA is bound tightly but unfolded slowly by Pif1 helicase” J. Biol. Chem. 290(10):6482-94 PMID:25589786. [Abstract]

He, X.*, Byrd, A.K.*, Yun, M.-K., Pemble, C.W., Harrison, D., Yeruva, L., Dahl, C., Kreuzer, K.N., Raney, K.D., and White, S.W. (2012) “The T4 Phage SF1B Helicase Dda is Structurally Optimized to Perform DNA Strand Separation” Structure. 20(7):1189-200. *co-first authors [Abstract]

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography