Catherine Freudenreich, PhD

Catherine Freudenreich, PhD

Professor of Biology



BA, Biology, Rice University
PhD, Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Duke University
Postdoctoral Training, Duke University; Princeton University


Campus: Medford
Office: 200 Boston Avenue
Laboratory: 200 Boston Avenue, Ste 4738

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-627-4037
Lab Phone: 617-627-5682
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Web Site  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs



Research Synopsis

My lab uses the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism to study genome instability. In particular, we are investigating the molecular basis of two related types of DNA mutations: repeat expansions and chromosome fragility. Expansion of repeat sequences is the cause of more than 20 inherited diseases including Huntington's disease (a degenerative neurological disease), Fragile X syndrome (the most common inherited mental retardation), and myotonic dystrophy (a type of muscular dystrophy). We are investigating the mechanism of repeat expansions during DNA replication and DNA repair, and the effect of chromatin state of the likelihood of repeat expansion. In addition, we are investigating the basis of chromosome fragility and its implications for cell growth and survival. The causes of chromosome fragility are not well understood, but the results can be significant: a broken chromosome is vulnerable to loss or rearrangement, which can lead to genomic changes and cancer. Our results in this area could shed light on the genomic instability that occurs in repeat expansion diseases as well as during tumorigenesis.


Lab Members

Simran Kaushal, PhD Student in Biology Send an e-mail  Lab Research Page
Erica Polleys, Postdoctoral Scholar  Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Jenna Whalen, PhD Student in Biology Send an e-mail Lab Research Page

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research