Program: Genome Stability
5117 Centre Avenue, Suite 2.6a
My lab studies DNA damage and repair at telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at chromosome ends that are essential for preserving the genome. When chromosomes lose their telomere caps the cells age and this contributes to the onset of degenerative diseases with aging. If chromosomes lose their telomere caps in pre-cancerous cells, then this causes genetic alterations that hasten the progression to cancer. Understanding mechanisms of telomere damage and repair should lead to new intervention strategies aimed at preserving these regions of the genome that are so critical for protecting our chromosomes and maintaining youthful cells. Conversely, we aim to leverage new findings to develop therapeutic strategies that deplete telomeres in cancer cells to prevent them from dividing.