Patrick Sung, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and structural biology
Endogenous free radicals and environmental agents such as ionizing radiation induce DNA double-strand breaks. The repair of these breaks is crucial for the maintenance of genome stability. Two distinct pathways help eliminate DNA double-strand breaks. In homologous recombination (HR), the repair of a broken DNA molecule requires an intact homologous duplex to direct the process. Alternatively, a pathway known as non-homologous DNA end joining (NHEJ) simply rejoins the ends of the broken DNA molecule. Our research efforts focus on delineating the mechanism of homology-directed repair of DNA double-strand breaks in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in humans, with special emphasis being placed on the roles of the breast and ovarian tumor suppressors BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the repair process.
Related diseases: Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, childhood cancers
Techniques: Protein purification, nucleic acid biochemistry, enzymology, cell biology, single-molecule biophysics, structural biology including cryoEM, EM, AFM, SAXS, NMR, and X-ray crystallography