The American Cancer Society has awarded Bioengineering Assistant Professor Sua Myong a $720,000 grant to study the molecular mechanism involved in DNA repair and its control. The results may be applied to developing anticancer or cancer-prevention treatments.
“As a researcher who has lost many family members to various cancers, my goal in this research is much deeper than just finding out some interesting facts about cancer,” said Myong, who will receive the funding over the next four years. “I am determined to make a seminal contribution in understanding the basic molecular biology which underlies the fundamental process of DNA repair.”
DNA repair processes lie at the core of genome maintenance and can easily lead to cancerous conditions when disrupted. Scientists’ present understanding of DNA repair processes and their role in cancer development remains at a qualitative level due to the use of conventional biological tools, which are subject to ensemble averaging effect and low resolution of data output.
Using novel single molecule florescence assays, Myong’s investigation will lead to a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanism involved in DNA repair and its control. More specifically, she seeks to determine the molecular mechanism involved in the beginning steps of homologous recombination, which is the major process by which double stranded DNA break is repaired. The preliminary data for the study was obtained by Yupeng Qiu, a third year Bioengineering graduate student.
The results of the study may be directly applied to anti-cancer or cancer-prevention treatments that will target DNA repair.