Dr. Edwin Antony, assistant professor of biological sciences at Marquette University, has received a $1,246,735 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further explore how damaged DNA in the cell is repaired. The results of this research could potentially influence the future of cancer treatments.
Defects in DNA repair mechanisms– the tools cells use to fix damage – are associated with high instances of cellular mutations, called genomic instability. This instability is a prevailing cause of cancers and associated disorders.
With this grant, Antony’s research will identify the mechanisms of proteins involved in DNA repair which repair lesions that occur through environmental carcinogens and incorrect DNA replication. The results from the research will lead to a better understanding of how mutations in these enzymes cause cancer in order to better direct therapeutic interventions.
“Understanding the basic mechanisms of DNA repair helps address the root cause of the problem,” said Antony. “This grant will support understanding how cells protect their DNA and will hopefully help the broader science community in its fight against cancer.“
The grant covers four years of this research project.
NIH is the largest provider of public funds for research in the world, investing more than $32 billion annually to enhance life and reduce illness and disability.
Dr. Antony’s recent paper, “Dynamics and selective remodeling of the DNA-binding domains of RPA” was featured on the front cover of the February issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal.
The paper was co-authored by ten professors, four of which are from Marquette’s Department of Biological Sciences: Edwin Antony, Elliot Corless, Nilisha Pokhrel and Emma Tillison.