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Dr. Barbara Xella

Dr. Barbara Xella

Barbara Xella


Research Assistant

  • Research assistant to Prof. Richard Gibbons

Investigating the function of the chromatin remodelling protein ATRX and its role in human disease.

Overview of main projects

When I joined the WIMM in 2012, I supported the lab in working on the role of ATRX as a tumour suppressor, on the mechanisms underlying telomeres length regulation by ATRX in ALT tumours, as well as on ATRX function in DNA replication and repair.

While contributing to other ongoing projects in the lab, I have then explored the role of ATRX in intrinsic antiviral resistance in the HSV-1 virus, when the viral factor ICP0 is mutated. This offers a potential viral vehicle able to selectively kill cancer cells in which ATRX is mutated.

Over the last few years, I have been focusing on Optical Mapping using the Bionano Irys and Saphyr technology to detect structural variations in patients, as well as to create a system able to investigate the role of ATRX in DNA replication genome-wide.

More recently, I have also started investigating the role of ATRX in DNA methylation in iPS cells.