Welcome to the Greider Lab

The Greider lab is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms that regulate telomere length. Telomeres are structures at the end of chromosomes, made of simple sequence DNA repeats, that distinguish a natural chromosome ends from a DNA break. Every time a cell divides, telomeres shorten by a small amount. This shortening is counterbalanced by the enzyme telomerase, which adds telomere DNA repeats and elongates telomeres. Telomeres are thus not a unique size but rather are maintained about an equilibrium length. If telomere length is not properly maintained, they become too short, initiate DNA Damage and cause cell death. Problems with telomere length maintenance are associated with human disease including both age-related degenerative disease and cancer.

Failure to maintain telomere length causes stem cell failure and loss of tissue renewal. In families with mutations in telomerase or other telomere genes, short telomeres cause inherited Telomere Syndromes which include, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, immunodeficiency, bone marrow failure and liver disease. Cancer cells on the other hand maintain telomeres and allow tumor growth, and mutations that cause long telomeres predispose to cancer.

Our lab uses yeast and human cells to understand the detailed mechanisms that establish and regulate the telomere length equilibrium and how it relates to disease.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

As members of the Greider lab we recognize the historical roots of racism are deeply embedded in our society, our communities and in academic institutions, including our own. We acknowledge that to truly bring about an inclusive institution we much acknowledge our own biases and actively work to be anti-racist. This is not a one-time act, it does not come about by simple pronouncement, but rather it is a choice we make every day in every action that we take. It is a process that takes work, and we recognize although we are committed to that work, we may make mistakes. We strive to be humble and correct each other gently as we collectively try to re-learn years of societal indoctrination that have brought us to this unjust society that we currently live in.

As members of the Greider Lab and the larger UCSC community, we are committed to actively creating an inclusive space where:

  • All members feel safe and can voice their opinions and concerns openly and know they will be heard and accepted.
  • All members feel valued and supported when they express frustrations, address conflict, and make mistakes.
  • All members respect each other and acknowledge that we experience the world differently based on our various backgrounds.
  • The Greider lab strives to be free of micro-agression, racist, xenophobic, classist, homophobic, sexist, and ableist comments and attitudes, and will actively work to address these if they arise in an open, community centered manner.
  • We hope that each member of the lab will speak up against hate crimes and will feel the support of others when they do. If a member does not feel comfortable speaking up directly, we encourage them to bring it up to other lab members or others in the UCSC community.

As the lab head (PI) I, Carol, recognize that I help set the tone of the atmosphere in the lab. If lab members have concerns about our lab or any other event in the department or on campus, please know that you can approach me with any issue you want to discuss. I will treat our discussion with strict confidentiality so that together we can address and solve any issues that arise.

As a small lab on campus, we acknowledge that our efforts of diversity and inclusion within a predominantly white institution does not equate to justice at large. Sometimes our effort might even be harmful to those of the marginalized communities. Therefore, we recognize the need to engage in additional efforts for inclusivity, such as by centering genuine care towards one another, actively choosing to not be ignorant, acknowledging one’s own privileges, biases, and anti-blackness, and participating in diversity & inclusion training and discussions whenever possible.