Eric studies the ends of chromosomes, known as telomeres, in both human and yeast cells. Telomeres consist of multiple copies of a short DNA sequence that protect the ends of chromosomes from fusing to each other and also from losing essential genetic information every time the genome is copied for a new cell. The copying process causes chromosome ends to become shorter. Eric would like to know how telomeres influence whether genes in their vicinity are switched on or off and what role telomeres play in human disorders such as cancer.