Connections between variability in DNA damage response and global genome organization in regulation of tissue-specific differentiation and cancer development.

DNA damage is ubiquitous in nature, and cellular response to it as diverse. A vast body of literature has established an intimate link between DNA damage responses (DDR) and the emergence of cancer, neurodegeneration and premature aging. Perturbations of specific DNA repair pathways are often associated with cancers in specific tissues. The very broad aims of my research are to elucidate the tissue-specific emergence of cancer with mutations in specific DNA repair pathways, and investigate the roles of DDR in tissue-specific differentiation. Towards these ends we are currently investigating the links between global genome organization and tissue-specific DDR, both in the context of cancer and cellular differentiation.