Genome stability & its regulatory signalling mechanisms
Organisms that encode their genetic information in DNA must ensure that this information does not become corrupted, or damaged, in order to survive and propagate. Each one of our cells contains the information to produce molecular machines called proteins. Some of these proteins act to safeguard our DNA and maintain the integrity of the genome via a process termed DNA repair. DNA repair proteins can sense when and how the DNA is damaged and switch on mechanisms to fix the damage. Importantly, defects within the DNA repair process leads to a range of pathologies and various cancers, so understanding DNA repair is of fundamental importance.
Research in our lab is focussed on understanding the mechanisms of DNA repair in mammalian cells. To help us with this, we’re using a range of biochemical, cellular and molecular approaches, which are supported by the world-class facilities in the Department of Biochemistry and broader Oxford research environment. More specifically, we’re using biochemistry, microscopy, proteomics, and the latest CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic tools to help us unravel how DNA repair is performed in cells.
Recently, it’s become clear that proteins involved in DNA repair are attractive anti-cancer targets. Through our discoveries, we hope to both improve our understanding of DNA repair and identify rational future drug targets.