Research Summary and Goals
Our research focuses on discovering genes that control cell growth by studying DNA from patients whose families carry inherited predispositions to cancer. Identifying genetic changes in the cancer pathway provides us with the opportunity to define or construct cells that represent the precancerous state and opens the possibility that early intervention can be an effective strategy for cancer prevention in the future.
Until recently, major efforts in our laboratory were concerned with contributing new DNA markers for the international effort to produce "maps" of all the human chromosomes. The rationale for constructing these maps was that if enough signposts could be established within nuclear DNA, genes that are involved in many inherited diseases or predispositions could be discovered through proximity to known markers. Now that the maps are complete, the pace of discovery of new genes is increasing world wide. Each new gene that is discovered leads to more information about the molecular basis of human physiology and the genetic events that may cause disease.