Mapping DNA repair networks in cancer

Mapping DNA repair networks in cancer

Project details

As we age we gradually accumulate damage to our DNA. Is this decay inevitable, or can we find new ways to protect our genome? We recently identified rare individuals that are cancer prone because they lack a glycosylase called MBD4, which initiates repair after deamination of methyl-cytosine, a common form of DNA damage (Sanders et al. Blood 2018, in press). 

We will dissect the repair network around MBD4 using a custom CRISPR library. Using this same approach, we will map connections between DNA repair genes and interactions with various cancer therapies. As part of the project we will develop high-throughput assays to measure DNA repair activity, providing a platform to discover new ways to manipulate these pathways to stimulate their activity. 

About our research group

My research team investigates why cancers develop and how they change in response to therapy. We use genomic approaches to study the genetic and epigenetic landscape of cancer – this landscape is dynamic and understanding how it shifts helps us pinpoint the key genes that drive the biology. We model these changes in the laboratory to determine how they mediate their influence. Our primary strengths are in cancer genetics and genomics, with an emphasis on haematological malignancy. 


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