Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Damage Processing Pathways

Our DNA blueprint is under continuous attack by both normal metabolic activities and environmental agents, resulting in as many as tens of thousands of individual DNA lesions per cell per day. These lesions can block replication and transcription processes and trigger a variety of DNA damage processing pathways, including DNA repair and checkpoints that result in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Defects in these DNA damage processing pathways lead to genome instability and many human diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Wang's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of cellular responses to DNA damage, particularly the functional interplay between transcription and epigenetic DNA modifications and lesions. His group takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining structural biology, chemical biology, computational biology, biochemical, and genetic methods, to study key protein complexes involved in these processing pathways. The results will have implications for DNA damage recognition and DNA repair. Moreover, understanding how cell process these DNA lesions will help us to decipher the mechanisms of drug action and resistance and pave the way for rational improvement of novel anticancer drugs.