We are continuously exposed to various genotoxic insults such as ionizing radiation, hazardous chemicals and endogenous metabolites. Among DNA lesions caused by these insults, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the most serious. Despite their prevalence, these lesions can be properly repaired to avoid deleterious consequences in general.
If the machinery of DNA repair is defective, genomic instability that may lead to tumor formation is induced. For example, it is well known that mutations in genes involved in homologous recombination (HR) repair for DSBs are responsible for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors are effective in HR defective cancers based on the principle of synthetic lethality. Inhibition of the DNA damage response proteins can be used to sensitize cancer cells to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Thus, knowledge gained from the study of DNA repair has considerable potential to impact the development of precision oncology. Our research focus is on the molecular mechanism underlying genomic instability in order to shed novel light on cancer treatment.
2. Research aims
To understand the molecular basis of genomic instability
To identify how the signals from genomic alterations to cell functions are regulated
To investigate opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches to cancer
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