Sobeck Lab

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We are interested in signaling pathways that contribute to the maintenance of genomic stability in our cells and prevent cancer susceptibility in humans. We are studying DNA repair pathways that are activated during the S-phase of the cell cycle when chromosomes replicate.

Our research centers on the Fanconi Anemia (FA) and Breast Cancer associated (BRCA1, BRCA2) repair pathways that are suspected have crucial functions in DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint activation during S-phase. Humans born with mutations in FA genes have a highly elevated risk to develop certain types of cancers including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and various types of solid tumors. Acquired mutations and silencing of FA genes have been found in different cancers in the general population and the FA genes are thus considered "caretakers" of our genome. Our goal is to understand the molecular functions of the FA/BRCA proteins (currently 15 FA/BRCA genes are known) and to elucidate how these proteins communicate with other members of the DNA damage response network to control and suppress genomic instability.

Our lab uses a combination of human cell-based assays and extracts prepared from eggs of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. These extracts are naturally cell-cycle synchronized and able to replicate and repair DNA in a test tube, providing us with a cell-free system that can be manipulated in many ways and that allows us to ask specific questions about functions of individual FA/BRCA proteins during the DNA damage response.

Image:Sobeck GROUPsmaller.jpg

May 2013 (left to right): Maya Raghunandan, Dan Stroik, Alex Sobeck, Jung-Eun Yeo, Indrajit Chaudhury, Sarah Riman, Niki Sathish Kumar

Lab News

!! Mark your calendars for the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Symposium from September 18-21, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland


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