|Grant ID: RR160101|
Recruitment of Established Investigators
Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
September 14, 2016
In order to grow from a single cell to a complete organism, cells have to undergo many divisions. During each cell division there is a chance that DNA won’t be copied exactly, allowing small errors to creep in.
Fortunately, cells have evolved a mechanism, called “DNA mismatch repair,” to fix these types of mistakes. Eventually, though, errors from improper copying or exposure to environmental mutagens can lead to mutations that cause disease, like cancer.
A scientist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center hopes to understand more about the complexities of DNA mismatch repair and eventually use this knowledge to tackle cancer.
Molecular biochemist Guo-Min Li was recruited from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in 2017 with the help of an Established Investigator Award from CPRIT.
DNA mismatch repair is a system of proteins operating together that allows cells to fix small errors that crop up when they copy their DNA prior to dividing. Li is trying to figure out how the individual parts of the system work, i.e. which pieces are essential on their own and which ones have built-in redundancy.