A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) professor has received a $1.9 million grant to research DNA damage response (DDR) for cancer and genetic disorders.
The National Institute of General Medical Studies (NIGMS) awarded Justin Leung, Ph.D. the five-year, $1.9 million grant. The funding will be used for a project entitled “Deciphering the Chromatin-based DNA Damage Response Pathway.”
Through the grant, researchers aim to build a roadmap of the chromatin-based DDR pathway.
“DNA damage is a constant threat to our genetic material, so our bodies evolved a surveillance system called the DDR pathway. This pathway maintains our genome integrity by protecting our cells from damage to the genetic information that results in mutations and cell malignancies,” Leung, assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, said in a statement.
By mapping the DDR pathway, Leung could potentially provide greater insight into the causes of cancer and other DDR-related genetic diseases, as well as help develop therapies for cancer treatment.
“Our lab aims to understand how cells precisely repair DNA damage at the right place and right time. We investigate how the DDR is initiated and the mechanism by which DNA repair proteins are brought to the DNA breaks,” Leung said.