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Peter
Carlton

Associate Professor

Research Interest

I study how we maintain our DNA in good condition and pass it on to the next generation.

What I like about my science

Our cells normally protect our DNA since it is so important, but in order to create new combinations of our parents’ DNA in our sex cells, we purposely cut our DNA molecules into pieces, then stitch them together again. My lab is now studying how these cuts and other damage in DNA gets created and repaired at different times in our cells’ lives.

Researcher Q & A

Where are you from?

Seattle, USA

Why did you become a researcher?

I don’t know! Actually I don’t think people truly know the answers to questions like this. But I have always enjoyed observing microscopic life and solving puzzles logically, and am glad I am able to do it for a living.

What is your favorite experiment, theory, device, reagent, lab equipment? Why do you like it?

There’s nothing in science I enjoy more than looking at cells and chromosomes through a fluorescence microscope. Not only are they amazing and beautiful to simply look at, but your ability to notice interesting and potentially useful things can only increase with the deep familiarity gained through long hours of observation.

What is your hobby?

My favorite hobby is natural history, especially watching and identifying birds, insects, and plants; combined with cycling and/or hiking it’s a great way to spend healthy time outdoors.

In my backyard looking at a praying mantis on a corn plant

Chromosomes from the worm called C. elegans. Each squiggly line is a set of two chromosomes that are paired together.