Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Grant A. King, PhD

Like changes in key genes that control the cell cycle, changes to chromosomes can result in abnormal cell function and sometimes even cancer. Recently, a new type of genetic change has been linked to diverse cancers: the formation of circular DNA molecules from chromosomes. These molecules, known as extrachromosomal DNA or ecDNA, are dangerous because they do not follow the same rules of inheritance as normal chromosomes. Understanding the behavior of ecDNA within cells may uncover strategies to eliminate ecDNA and restore cellular health. Using a model ecDNA in budding yeast, Dr. King [HHMI Fellow] will identify and characterize pathways that either limit or enhance ecDNA propagation. He will then determine whether these pathways play a consistent role in human cancer cells, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in treatment-resistant ecDNA-driven cancers. Dr. King received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and his BA from Columbia University, New York.

Project title: "How do host cells engage with extrachromosomal DNA?"
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Harmit S. Malik, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Cell Biology