Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa
Hélène Gaillard

Email: helene.gaillard@cabimer.es

Main Research Lines:

  1.  Temporal and spatial regulation of DNA repair processes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Nucleotide Excision Repair
  3. Cellular responses to DNA and RNA damage

Many cellular processes including transcription, replication and DNA repair occur concomitantly in living cells and their correct coordination requires still poorly understood cross-talk mechanisms. I am interested in deciphering the mechanisms acting at the interface between these basic processes therewith safeguarding cellular integrity.

After my Ph.D at the Swiss Federal Technology School in Zürich (ETHZ, Switzerland; under the supervision of Prof. Fritz Thoma) working on the impact of nucleosome packaging and remodelling on the repair of UV-induced DNA lesions in vitro, I joined the team of Prof. Andrés Aguilera at the University of Seville (Spain) to study the implication of the THO complex and other RNA biogenesis factors in transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) in budding yeast. Beside this primary research line, I started to assess the existence of a RNA-damage specific response and discovered that RNA accumulates in cytoplasmic granules upon UV irradiation. In 2011, I became Assistant Professor at the University of Seville and co-founded Suntec solar S.L., a Spin-off company of the University of Seville dedicated to the development of intelligent UV-filter to be used in cosmetics.

Since January 2019, I am Associated Professor at the University of Seville. My current research is focused on how eukaryotic cells integrate the processes of transcription, replication and nuclear organization to preserve genome integrity by accurate DNA repair as well as on the cellular and molecular characterization of UV-induced RNA granules.

ORCID: 0000-0002-5740-0641

ResearcherID: 6603013625

Projects (past 5 years)

– 2018/00000495. Analísis molecular y functional de nuevos factores implicados en la reparación por escisión de nucleótidos. Universidad de Sevilla (VI Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia). Principal investigator: Hélène Gaillard. Universidad de Sevilla. : 01/06/2018-31/12/2018.

– ERC2014-0015 Advanced. R-loops as a major modulator of transcription-associated recombination and chromatin dynamics. European Research Council. Principal investigator: Andrés Aguilera López. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/12/2015-30/11/2020.

– 15/0098. RNA-DNA hybrids as a source of genome instability in cancer. Worldwide Cancer Research (formerly known as AICR). Principal investigator: Andrés Aguilera López. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/01/2015-31/12/2017.

– P11-CTS-7962. Protección ante el Daño Celular Causado por la Luz Solar: Valoración de Nuevos Filtros UV. Junta de Andalucía (Proyecto de Excelencia 2011). Principal investigator: Ralf Erik Wellinger. Universidad de Sevilla. 26/03/2013-31/12/2017.

– BFU2013-42918-P. Inestabilidad Genómica Asociada a Transcripción e Híbridos DNA-RNA. Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Plan Nacional 2013). Principal investigator: Andrés Aguilera López. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/01/2014-31/12/2016.

Publications (past 5 years)

GAILLARD H*., Santos-Pereira J.M. and Aguilera A*. 2019. The Nup84 complex coordinates the DNA damage response to warrant genome integrity. Nucleic Acids Research, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz066. *corresponding authors

GAILLARD H*., García-Benítez F. and Aguilera A*. 2018. Gene gating at nuclear pores prevents the formation of R loops. Molecular and Cellular Oncology 5: e1405140. *corresponding authors

– García-Benítez F., GAILLARD H*. and Aguilera A*. 2017. Physical proximity of chromatin to nuclear pores prevents harmful R loop accumulation contributing to maintain genome stability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:10942-10947. *corresponding authors

GAILLARD H. and Aguilera A. 2016. Transcription as a threat to genome integrity. Annual Review of Biochemistry 85:291-317.

GAILLARD H., García-Muse T. and Aguilera A. 2015. Replication stress and cancer. Nature Reviews Cancer 15:276-289.

– Aguilera A. and GAILLARD H. 2014. Transcription and recombination: when RNA meets DNA. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 6: a016543.

GAILLARD H. and Aguilera A. 2014. Cleavage factor I links transcripiton termination to DNA damage response and genome integrity maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisae. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004203.