Genome Maintenance Research Program
Changes to the genome are at the epicenter of cancer mechanisms and response to therapies. The Genome Maintenance Research Program is a cohesive network of basic science researchers focused on understanding how DNA is damaged, repaired, packaged, expressed, and replicated.
Members of the Genome Maintenance Program have expertise across all of the major processes involved in the faithful maintenance and expression of the genetic material:
How environmental agents and the products of natural cellular metabolism cause mutations and lead to cancer
Chromatin & Epigenetics
How the epigenome contributes to genome integrity and expression and how it goes awry in cancer
DNA Damage Response
How DNA damage response pathways are activated and how they function to maintain genome integrity and suppress cancer
How DNA damage is repaired and how defects in these processes lead to cancer
How control of gene expression is central to normal cellular homeostasis and cancer mechanisms
Meet the Program Members
Co-led by David Cortez, Ph.D., and William Tansey, Ph.D., the Genome Maintenance program includes faculty members from over a dozen departments and centers across campus. Research interests of our members are broad and encompassing — from control of DNA replication and mitosis to mechanisms of DNA damage, DNA damage response and repair, chromatin, epigenetics, and the regulation of gene activity. This vibrant group of researchers harbors expertise in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, genomics, model organisms, proteomics, and structural biology. Their specific research strengths, together with a common focus on the genome, creates a highly synergistic environment where both formal and informal collaborations thrive and bolster our research accomplishments and impact.
Protection of abasic sites during DNA replication by a stable thiazolidine protein-DNA cross-link.
Thompson, P.S., Amidon, K.M., Mohni, K.N., Cortez, D. (GM) & Eichman, B.F. (GM).
Nat Struct Mol Biol 26(7):613-618, 2019; PMC6628887.
Toxicity and repair of DNA adducts produced by the natural product yatakemycin
Mullins EA, Shi R, Eichman BF (GM)
Nat. Chem. Biol. 2017 SEP 13(9):1002-1008 PMC5657529
Reaching for the next branch on the biobank tree of knowledge
Cox NJ (CE, GM)
Nat. Genet. 2017 AUG 30 49(9):1295-1296 PMID:28854181
RADX Promotes Genome Stability and Modulates Chemosensitivity by Regulating RAD51 at Replication Forks
Dungrawala H, Bhat KP, Le Meur R, Chazin WJ (GM), Ding X, Sharan SK, Wessel SR, Sathe AA, Zhao R, Cortez D (GM)
Mol. Cell 2017 AUG 3 67(3):374-386.e5 PMC5548441
Epigenomic reprogramming during pancreatic cancer progression links anabolic glucose metabolism to distant metastasis
McDonald OG (GM), Li X, Saunders T, Tryggvadottir R, Mentch SJ, Warmoes MO, Word AE, Carrer A, Salz TH, Natsume S, Stauffer KM, Makohon-Moore A, Zhong Y, Wu H, Wellen KE, Locasale JW, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Feinberg AP
Nat. Genet. 2017 MAR 49(3):367-376 PMC5695682
ETAA1 acts at stalled replication forks to maintain genome integrity.
Bass TE, Luzwick JW, Kavanaugh G, Carroll C, Dungrawala H, Glick GG, Feldkamp MD, Putney R, Chazin WJ (GM), Cortez D (GM).
Nat. Cell Biol. 2016 OCT 10 PMC5245861.
Gene network for leukemia factor
Transcription factors — proteins that regulate gene expression — play critical roles in cell fate decisions and are frequent targets of mutation in a variety of human cancers.