Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
J. Brooks Crickard, PhD

Dr. Crickard [The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Fellow] is using high-throughput single molecule imaging to rebuild and visualize the process of homologous recombination (HR) in real time. DNA is subjected to many insults leading to damage. This DNA damage leads to a loss in genomic integrity, resulting in the formation and metastasis of many types of cancer. To guard against DNA damage, cells have developed several complex regulatory networks devoted to repair of damaged DNA, including HR. HR involves the search and pairing of one damaged piece of DNA to similar or identical DNA sequences to promote repair of the damaged piece, thus maintaining genome integrity. He seeks to understand, at the most basic biochemical level, how two of the key protein components in HR, Rad51 and Rad54, function to find and repair damaged DNA. His findings will give new insights into how cells fix damaged DNA, which may be key to the development of novel treatments and therapeutic options for all types of cancer.

Project title: "Visualizing the strand invasion during homologous recombination on the single molecule level"
Institution: Columbia University
Named Award: The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Eric C. Greene, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biochemistry