MGH Research Scholars Program
The MGH Research Scholars Program was established to support early career researchers with innovative yet unproven ideas that have the potential to transform the future of medicine. Funded 100% through philanthropy, this program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility they need to follow the science wherever it leads. History has shown that brilliant scientists who are given free rein to explore new frontiers make the greatest, often unexpected, advances.
The laboratory of MGH Research Scholar Lee Zou, PhD, is investigating the genetic and epigenetic changes in the human genome that contribute to the development of cancer.
Pathways that Mediate the Cellular Response to DNA Damage
Cancer is a complex disease driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations in the genome.
To prevent these detrimental alterations, cells have evolved an intricate signaling network, called the checkpoint, to detect and signal problems in the genome.
During cancer development, the activation of oncogenes and loss of tumor suppressors leads to genomic instability, rendering cancer cells increasingly dependent upon specific DNA repair and checkpoint signaling proteins to survive.
The Zou laboratory is interested in understanding how the checkpoint detects DNA damage and genomic instability, and how the checkpoint can be targeted in cancer therapy.