This summer I worked for the Icos Corporation, a biotechnology company in Bothell, Washington, just north of Seattle. The team of scientists I worked with are researching the human homolog of the MEC1/RAD3 gene, a gene found in yeast (S. Cervisciea) and fission yeast (S.Pombe). This gene codes for a protein that regulates a cell cycle checkpoint between G2 and mitosis, offering entry into mitosis only if all DNA repair has been effected in G2. The entire sequence of the gene has been published for the yeast organisms.
My focus within the group was to work on obtaining the full length clone in humans. To that end I was instructed in laboratory techniques for screening cDNA libraries. Over the course of the summer I was able to elucidate approximately 2.5 KB of novel DNA sequence from a clone I found in testis tissue. Additional library screening yielded two putative clones that may lead to the 5´ end of this gene.
Of course this is only the beginning of a lengthy research effort. I felt very fortunate to be a part of such exciting work. I hope to return to Icos this next summer to continue my work on this project. My greatest hope is that I may someday see the ultimate end of this research manifest in a product that will advance science's battle against disease.