Dr. Katharina Schlacher
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Cancer Biology
A “hallmark of cancer” is genomic instability. We recently discovered a novel mechanism that suppresses genomic instability and defined the founding members of this new pathway including the Breast cancer (BRCA) and Fanconi Anemia tumor suppressors. Our lab’s research interest focuses on understanding mechanisms of DNA replication fork stability and how these processes suppress tumorigenesis and disease.
BRCA and Fanconi Anemia genes are otherwise well known for specialized repair of DNA damage and it so far was assumed that it is their repair function that suppresses tumorigenesis. Our discovery of FP as an alternative to DNA repair provides an exciting additional tumor suppressive function of these genes. Indeed other groups subsequently found that FP is controlled by the Hippo pathway and the list of genes involved in FP is ever growing. FP defects show phenotypical cellular outcomes that are distinct from DNA repair defects that have critical implications for differential treatment and prevention strategies of FP defective patients. The overall research plan of my laboratory is to obtain an in debt molecular and biological understanding of replication fork protection at the bench and in patients to provide the scientific framework to develop disease prediction, prevention and treatment strategies.
We have a deep-rooted passion for new assay development and microscope techniques. Projects and techniques in our lab include single-molecule imaging assay system for replication fork instability, single-cell assay system for specific and quantitative detection of protein interactions with nascent DNA replication forks (kPOND), super-resolution microscopy techniques (SIM), tissue culture techniques including human ES cells, FP mouse models, high-throughput screens (genetic and small molecule), patient derived specimen and I challenge you to join our adventure to discover and develop to add to this list!
For more information go to: www.schlacherlab.com.