G Valentin Boerner
 Title: Associate Professor
 Dept: Biology, Geology, Environmental Science
 Office: SR 281
 Phone: 216-523-7557,  216-687-2316
 Email: G.BOERNER@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SR 281, Cleveland, OH 44115

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Research Keywords:
chromosome architecture, cell cycle checkpoints, recombination, double strand break repair, meiosis, birth defects
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, University of Munich, 1997
Certificate in Management, Harvard University, 2004
Brief Bio:
Valentin Börner received his Ph.D. (1997) from the University of Munich, Germany, working with Prof. Svante Pääbo on mitochondrial RNA functions. From 1997 to 2005, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University with Prof. Nancy Kleckner during which time he was awarded an EMBO long-term fellowship and a fellowship from the Medical Foundation/ Charles A. King Trust.  Dr. Börner joined Cleveland State University as an Assistant Professor in 2005.  He also holds an adjunct appointment with the Cell Biology Department of the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic.
Honors and Awards:
2007     Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes Foundation
1999     Charles A. King Fellow, The Medical Foundation    
1997     Long-Term Fellow, EMBO
Research Interests:
Prominent changes in higher order chromosome organization occur in parallel with DNA transitions on the molecular level at all stages of the cell cycle. Coordination between these events is critical for the transmission of an intact genome. Defects in genome stability are associated with cancer, aging and birth defects such as Down syndrome.

We are investigating the interplay between chromosome structure and DNA recombination during meiosis. Meiosis is characterized by a series of well-defined transitions: During the prophase of meiosis I, homologous chromosomes undergo pairing, organize along proteinaeous axes, and become connected via the synaptonemal complex (SC). In parallel, recombination is initiated by introduction of numerous double strand breaks (DSBs) which are processed into crossovers. Crossovers establish a physical connection between homologous chromosomes thereby ensuring their faithful segregation.

Crossovers are non-randomly distributed along the genome, suggesting a mechanism of genome-wide coordination. We have previously shown that crossover sites become designated when the broken chromosome first interacts with its partner homolog (Börner et al., 2004). This indicates that crossover sites are designated (i) prior to and independent of SC formation and (ii) at an earlier stage than predicted by classical models of homologous recombination. The ZMM group of proteins mediates both crossover-specific strand invasion and SC polymerization, suggesting functional linkage between these key events.

We are using cytological, biochemical and functional genomics approaches to analyze roles of the SC and SC-associated proteins in chromosomal exchange (Perry et al., 2005). We are further investigating the surveillance mechanisms that couple DSB processing to the progression of the meiotic cell cycle (Börner, 2006).