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Neil Hunter


Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Cell Biology & Human Anatomy

347C, Briggs Hall
(530) 754-4401

(530) 754-4391


1996 PhD Wolfson College, Oxford University, Oxford (UK) Genetics
1992 BS University of Manchester (UK) Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology

Research Interests:

Homologous Recombination.
The mechanism and regulation of chromosome repair by homologous recombination and its role in chromosome transmission and genome stability.

Post-Translational Protein Modification in Meiosis.
The nature and function of post-translational modifications of proteins involved in homologous recombination during meiosis.


1997-2001 Wellcome Trust - Prize Travelling Postdoctoral Fellowship
1993-1996 Wellcome Trust - Prize PhD Studentship
2003-2006 Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation - Scholar Award
2004-2006 Concern Foundation - Young Investigator Award
2005 March of Dimes - Basil O'Connor Award
2006 France-Berkeley Fund Award
2007 UCD Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center Award
2009 Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Early Career Scientist
2009-2014 Chancellor's Fellow

Department and Center Affiliations:

UC Davis Cancer Center
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Cell Biology & Human Anatonmy

Professional Societies:

The Genetics Society of America
American Association for the Advancement of Science

CBS Graduate Group Affiliations:

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology  
Integrated Genetics and Genomics  

Specialties / Focus:

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Chromosome Dynamics and Nuclear Function
Reproductive Biology

Integrated Genetics and Genomics
Chromosome Biology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS:



Last updated 5/10/2012
Qiao H., Chen, J., Reynolds, A., Höög, C., Paddy, M. and Hunter, N. (2012). Interplay between centromeres, synaptonemal complex and homologous recombination during mammalian meiosis. PLoS Genetics In Press.

Zakheryevich, K, Tang, S., Ma, Y. and Hunter, N. (2012). Delineation of joint molecule resolution pathways in meiosis identifies a crossover-specific resolvase. Cell 149, 334-47.

Hunter, N. (2011). Double Duty For Exo1 During Meiotic Recombination. Cell Cycle 10(16), 2607-2609.

Hwang, Y-H. and Hunter, N. (2011). Mapping meiotic breaks: Spo11 oligonucleotides precisely mark the spots. Genome Biology 12, 111-114. doi:10.1186/gb-2011-12-4-111.

Zakheryevich, K, Ma, Y., Tang, S., Hwang, Y-H., Boiteux, S. and Hunter, N. (2010). Temporally and biochemically distinct activities of Exo1 during meiosis: double-strand-break resection and resolution of double-Holliday Junctions. Molecular Cell, 40, 1001-1015.

Lao, J.P. and Hunter, N. (2010). Trying to avoid your sister. PLoS Biology, 8(10): e1000519.

Bzymek,M., Thayer, N. H., Oh, S. D., Kleckner, N. and Hunter, N. (2010). Double Holliday Junctions are Intermediates of DNA Break Repair. Nature 464, 937-941.

Oh S.D., Lao, J.P. and Hunter, N. (2008). RecQ Helicase, Sgs1, and XPF-Family Endonuclease, Mus81-Mms4, Resolve Aberrant Joint Molecules During Meiotic Recombination. Molecular Cell 31, 324-336.

Hunter, N. (2008). Hop1 and the meiotic DNA-damage response. Cell 132, 731-732.

Hunter, N. (2008). The RecQ DNA helicases: Jacks-of all-trades or master-tradesmen? Cell Research 18, 328-330.

Lao, J.P., Oh, S.D., Shinohara, M., Shinohara, A. and Hunter, N. (2008). Rad52 promotes post-invasion steps of meiotic double-strand-break repair. Molecular Cell, 29, 517-524.

Shinohara, M, Oh, S.D., Hunter, N. and Shinohara, A. (2008). Crossover assurance and crossover interference are distinctly regulated by the ZMM/SIC proteins during meiosis. Nature Genetics, 40, 299-309.

Oh S.D., Lao, J.P., Hwang, P.Y-H., Taylor, A.F., Smith, G.R. and Hunter, N. (2007). Sgs1, a Bloom's helicase ortholog, prevents aberrant crossing-over by suppressing the formation of multichromatid joint molecules. Cell 130, 259-272.

Hunter, N. (2006). Meiotic Recombination. In, Molecular Genetics of Recombination, Aguilera, A. and Rothstein, R. (Eds), Topics in Current Genetics, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

Cromie, G. A., Hyppa, R. W., Taylor, A. F., Zakharyevich, K., Hunter, N., and Smith, G. R. (2006). Single Holliday Junctions are intermediates of meiotic recombination. Cell 127, 1167-1178.

Martini, E., Diaz, R.L., Hunter, N. and Keeney, S. (2006). Crossover homeostasis in yeast meiosis. Cell 126, 285-295.

Hunter, N. (2004). Meiosis. In, the Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry, Lennarz, W. and Lane, M. (Eds), Elsevier Press, San Diego. pp 610-616.

Boerner, V.G., Kleckner, N. and Hunter, N. (2004). Crossover/noncrossover differentiation, synaptonemal complex formation and regulatory surveillance at the leptotene/zygotene transition of meiosis. Cell 117, 29-45.

de los Santos, T., Hunter, N., Lee, C., Larkin, B., Loidl, J., and Hollingsworth, N.M. (2003). The Mus81/Mms4 endonuclease acts independently of double-Holliday junction resolution to promote a distinct subset of crossovers during meiosis in budding yeast. Genetics, 164, 81-94.

Blat, Y., Protacio, R., Hunter, N. and Kleckner, N. (2002). Physical and functional interactions among basic chromosome organizational features govern early steps of meiotic chiasma formation. Cell, 111 791-802.

Hunter, N. and Kleckner, N. (2001). The single-end invasion: an asymmetric intermediate at the double-strand-break to double-Holliday junction transition of meiotic recombination. Cell 106, 59-70.

Laboratory Personnel:

345, 347 & 351 Briggs Hall
Graduate Students: Jessica Lao, Shangming Tang.
Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Scientists: Ye Yang, Wei He, Joe Qiao, Yunmei Ma, Kajal Biswas, June Huang, Nikhil Bhagwat.
Lab manager: Zhen Wu.
Technician: Ping-ping Lu.
Undergraduate researchers: Sharon Tsao, Jeff Chen, Tin Cheng, Colin Deniston, Kit Cheang, Sam Vang.

Teaching Interests:

Genetics. Chromosome biology. Genome instability and cancer biology.


BIS 101 Genes and Gene Expression Winter
MIC 91/191 Introduction to Research Spring
MIC 276 Adv Concepts DNA Metab Spring
GGG 295 Seminars In Molecular Genetics Fall

Key Words:

meiosis, chromosome, homologous recombination, aneuploidy, SUMO, ubiquitin, DNA repair, Holliday Junction, double-strand-break