Skarstad Group Home

Welcome to the web pages of Kirsten Skarstad’s group DNA replication and chromosome dynamics

Genome instability leads to changes in a cell’s properties. In bacteria it frequently leads to resistance against antibiotics. Collapse and disintegration of the DNA during replication is a major cause of genome instability. We study proteins which act on DNA in order to discover the mechanisms by which DNA is replicated, segregated and repaired. We also study the regulatory mechanisms of the bacterial cell cycle, and are interested in how initiation of replication and segregation is controlled and coordinated with cell growth and cell division in the model organisms Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae. Some of the projects are basic bacterial cell biology projects and some are aimed at developing novel antibacterial drugs and understanding antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. In a wider perspective the aim of the group is to increase knowledge about DNA transactions and use this knowledge to combat disease.


Current research involves:

  • The mechanisms of replication fork collapse and repair
  • The roles of the SeqA protein, topoisomerases and Dam methylase in maintaining a “window” of hemimethylation and stabilization of the replication fork
  • The roles of the beta clamp and the clamp loader proteins in replication fork rescue
  • The co-regulation of metabolism and the cell cycle
  • Development of a non-fluoroquinolone topoisomerase inhibitor lead into a novel antibacterial drug

K. Skarstad is professor II at the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, and is reponsible for the course FRM-MBV5060/9060.

Contact information:
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Sognsvannsveien 20, NO-0372 Oslo, Norway