Cancer Biology/Molecular Genetics
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins Campus
3 Years of college
Number of Openings: 1
The major goals of ongoing projects are to investigate molecular mechanisms of DNA double-strand break repair by homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining, and the roles of proteins involved in the DNA replication stress response. These pathways are critical for maintaining genome stability and control cellular resistance to DNA damaging agents including radiation and drugs used in cancer therapy.
Students will employ yeast or mammalian cell systems to examine repair of DNA double-strand breaks in cells genetically modified to have defects in specific genes that encode DNA repair proteins, replication proteins, and proteins that regulate cell cycle checkpoints. Once DNA damage is created (by radiation or nucleases that introduce double-strand breaks into DNA), repair is allowed to occur and repair products are isolated and characterized using cell biology and molecular assays such as fluorescence microscopy, the polymerase chain reaction, and DNA fiber analysis. Students will assist other lab members with ongoing projects and will be perform DNA repair assays, repair product analysis, analyze and interpret data, and participate in laboratory meetings.