NYU Langone Medical Center experienced an unprecedented storm on October 29th, 2012, causing damage that deeply impacted our patient care, research, and educational facilities. There are three basic science buildings, the Skirball Institute, the Smilow Research Center, and the Medical Science Building (MSB), all of which incurred extensive damage to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, requiring the temporary closure of our main campus. Due to disruptions in power and freezers failing, a large number of refrigerated and frozen biospecimens and reagents were lost. The Skirball Institute and the Smilow Research Center were operational by November 12th;however, MSB sustained the most extensive damage, and remains closed as repairs are ongoing. My lab is located at the Medical Science Building (MSB). Prior to the hurricane we established many of the assays and obtained the majority of reagents for this project. As a result of hurricane Sandy, we lost all our reagents, including recombinant proteins, plasmids, FRET oligos, reactive dyes and specialized chemicals. The unique requirements of our instrumentation and work prevented our full relocation, and instead we retain temporary space with limited research capabilities that are insufficient for carrying the work described here. Consequently, in the interim since Sandy we could not reinitiate, regenerate or otherwise proceed in our research. We expect to repopulate our lab by the end of summer/early fall of 2013, and gradually regain full functionality in the two months that follow. Since we lost all of our reagents, we will have to start this project anew. The work proposed here will enable us reinitiate the project, restore it to its pre-hurricane state, and allow us to proceed and establish a basis for a competitive NIH RO1 proposal. We emphasize that all the work described here and the proposed timeline will be accomplished only after our lab will become operational again. All the preliminary work described here, and all the reagents will need to be regenerated.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this proposal is to establish the molecular mechanism of the human RECQL5 helicase; a key protein in the maintenance of genomic integrity; using innovative technology. RECQ protein family mutations are associated with severe human syndromes whose patients display increased genomic instability; accelerated aging and cancer. Furthering our understanding of the mechanism of RECQ proteins and of RECQL5 helicase- and related-genomic instability based disease would bring us closer to mechanism-based therapeutics.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-P (50))
Program Officer
Barski, Oleg
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
New York University
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
Zip Code
Chatterjee, Sujoy; Zagelbaum, Jennifer; Savitsky, Pavel et al. (2014) Mechanistic insight into the interaction of BLM helicase with intra-strand G-quadruplex structures. Nat Commun 5:5556