|Awarded On||February 21, 2019|
|Title||Biophysical Mechanisms of Human Microhomology-Mediated End Joining|
|Award Mechanism||Individual Investigator|
|Institution/Organization||The University of Texas at Austin|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Ilya Finkelstein|
|Cancer Sites||All Sites|
Chromosomal rearrangements and genome instability are both hallmarks of cancer. These rearrangements frequently arise due to activation of a highly error-prone “backup” DNA repair pathway. Microhomology-mediated end-joining (MMEJ) is largely dormant in healthy cells but allows cancer cells to adapt to chemotherapy and loss of primary DNA repair pathways. For example, MMEJ upregulation leads to poor clinical outcomes in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the deadliest cancer nationwide. Because of its importance in aggressive and treatment-resistant cancers, drugs that target MMEJ are a promising avenue for the next generation of cancer therapeuti...