Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Neil T. Umbreit, PhD

Dr. Umbreit [HHMI Fellow] studies chromosome segregation, the process by which the genetic information on chromosomes is duplicated and the copies are segregated equally into two new cells. Cancer cell proliferation is marked by frequent errors in chromosome segregation, resulting in abnormal genetic content in the progeny. He is investigating one type of chromosome segregation error, called a “chromosome bridge,” a major mechanism through which genetic information can be amplified and/or rearranged to distort gene function in cancer cells. When these genetic rearrangements include oncogenes and growth factor genes, they can result in acquired drug resistance, unrestrained cell proliferation, and metastasis. Identifying and understanding the pathways that give rise to these alterations is critical, as they represent cancer-specific targets that can be exploited to develop effective therapeutics.

Project title: "Elucidating the mechanism of chromosome bridge resolution"
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): David S. Pellman, MD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Chromosome and Telomere Biology