DNA damage poses a major threat to the integrity of a cell’s genome, and failure to accurately repair damaged DNA leads to an increased risk of cancer. Although the mechanisms of DNA repair are well studied in interphase cells, little is known about how DNA damage signalling is regulated during mitosis. MDC1 is an important adapter protein in the DNA damage response, which orchestrates the recruitment of downstream repair and checkpoint proteins to sites of DNA double strand breaks to facilitate cell cycle arrest and DNA repair. I am currently investigating how MDC1 interacts with DNA repair proteins in response to DNA damage during mitosis, and the functional consequences of disrupting MDC1 function on chromosome stability in mitotic cells.
I studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol for my BSc before starting my PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research in London under the supervision of Prof Alan Ashworth and Prof Chris Lord. During my PhD I worked in translational cancer research with a focus on DNA damage response inhibitors. Specifically, I investigated the therapeutic potential of PARP and ATR inhibitors in childhood sarcomas and ovarian cancer. Following my PhD, I joined the Blackford Lab as a postdoctoral researcher in November 2016.
ATR Is a Therapeutic Target in Synovial Sarcoma
Cancer Res. 2017 Dec 15;77(24):7014-7026. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2056.
ATR inhibitors as a synthetic lethal therapy for tumours deficient in ARID1A
Nat Commun. 2016 Dec 13;7:13837. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13837