I graduated from Alma College with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemstry. After a year of research at Michigan State, I entered graduate school in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State and studied the initiation of DNA replication in E. coli as a member of Jon Kaguni's lab. I came to the Department of Biology at MIT in the summer of 2003. I am a National Cancer Institute postdoctoral fellow studying DNA repair in B. subtilis and I work in the Walker and Grossman labs.
My wife Kristi and I live in Arlington, MA. Kristi is a graduate of Alma College and MSU and she teaches mathematics at Burlington High School. In my spare time my hobbies are fly fishing and golfing. Kristi and I enjoy going for walks, traveling, the restaurants of Boston, Red Sox games, and other activities in the city. We also enjoy escapes to Maine and visiting family and friends in Michigan.
Ph.D. Michigan State University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
B.S. Alma College, Alma, MI Biology
Bacillus subtilis has served as a valuable system for studying the localization of DNA repair proteins in living cells. Previous results from the Walker and Grossman labs have shown that the mismatch repair proteins MutS-GFP and MutL-GFP localize as foci and these foci are often coincident with replication factrories in B. subtilis. Other experiments have demonstrated that the localization of MutS-GFP and MutL-GFP are dependent on replication factories and ongoing DNA synthesis. I am currently investigating the protein-protein interactions that are required for MutS localization and mismatch repair in B. subtilis. I also examine the localization properties of proteins involved in other repair pathways to provide an integrated view of how repair proteins operate within the context of a living cell.
Simmons, L.A . and J.M. Kaguni. (2003). The dnaAcos allele of E. coli: hyperactive initiation is caused by substitution of A184V and Y271H, resulting in defective ATP binding and aberrant DNA replication control. Molecular Microbiology. 47:755-765.
Simmons, L.A., Felczak, M.F. and J.M. Kaguni. (2003). DnaA protein of Escherichia coli: oligomerization at the E. coli chromosomal origin is required for initiation and involves specific N-terminal amino acids. Molecular Microbiology. 49:849-858.
Simmons, L.A., Breier, A.M., Cozzarelli, N.R. and J.M. Kaguni. (2004). Hyperinitiation of DNA replication in Escherichia coli leads to replication fork collapse and inviability. Molecular Microbiology. 51:349-358.
Felczak, M.M., Simmons, L.A. and J.M. Kaguni (2005). An essential tryptophan of Escherichia coli DnaA protein functions in oligomerization at the E. coli replication origin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280: 24627-33.