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Dividing cells rely on three basic mechanisms to maintain genome stability. Two of these mechanisms, duplication of the genome by DNA replication and the segregation of each genome copy into dividing cells during mitosis, are mechanical in nature. These two bioengineering tasks require a large number of structural proteins that function together as complex machines. Superimposed on these two mechanical systems is a third component of quality control that monitors the integrity of the genome to ensure its accurate replication and distribution. Defects in any one of these three fundamental cellular processes lead to the accumulation of mutations in the genome that result in cell death or uncontrolled cell growth. An understanding of the biochemical basis of the three mechanisms that maintain genome stability is of utmost importance in developing new methods of cancer detection and treatment.

Our laboratory is focused on studying two of the three essential processes that involve: 1) a checkpoint system to monitor radiation-induced DNA damage, and 2) the biomechanical events that segregate chromosomes between two daughter cells during mitosis. Furthermore, Over recent years, how cancer cells die after treatment with anti-cancer drugs becomes a new focus in our lab.  For more information please click here.

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