Rafael Daniel Camerini-Otero, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Genetics and Biochemistry Branch


Building 5, Room 205A
5 Memorial Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814



Research Topics

Research Goal

The ultimate goal of our research is to improve the health of individuals with inherited and congenital conditions and diseases.

Current Research

My laboratory is interested in the biochemistry and molecular biology of homologous recombination in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.  The focus had been on the first homology-dependent step in homologous recombination, the homologous pairing of DNAs.  We have been studying the underlying biochemical mechanism to understand the biology of genetic recombination and to devise new strategies to manipulate complex genomes in vitro and, in the future, in vivo, and the DNA-protein complexes involved.  In addition, we have been studying the biochemistry and molecular biology of mouse meiosis and evolutionary genomics.  Most recently, we have been investigating novel approaches to map recombination hotspots in a variety of mammals including humans.​


  • M.D., Ph.D., New York University, 1973
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1966

Selected Publications

  1. Dai J, Voloshin O, Potapova S, Camerini-Otero RD. Meiotic Knockdown and Complementation Reveals Essential Role of RAD51 in Mouse Spermatogenesis. Cell Rep. 2017;18(6):1383-1394.

  2. Brick K, Smagulova F, Khil P, Camerini-Otero RD, Petukhova GV. Genetic recombination is directed away from functional genomic elements in mice. Nature. 2012;485(7400):642-5.

  3. Smagulova F, Brick K, Pu Y, Camerini-Otero RD, Petukhova GV. The evolutionary turnover of recombination hot spots contributes to speciation in mice. Genes Dev. 2016;30(3):266-80.

  4. Smagulova F, Gregoretti IV, Brick K, Khil P, Camerini-Otero RD, Petukhova GV. Genome-wide analysis reveals novel molecular features of mouse recombination hotspots. Nature. 2011;472(7343):375-8.

  5. Pratto F, Brick K, Khil P, Smagulova F, Petukhova GV, Camerini-Otero RD. DNA recombination. Recombination initiation maps of individual human genomes. Science. 2014;346(6211):1256442.

This page was last updated on December 16th, 2018