Areas of Research
- DNA Repair Research
- DNA Polymerases Research
- Genome Stability Research
- Genetic Predisposition to Cancers Research
Wood Lab Group Photo, Summer 2019
Welcome to the Wood Laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center. We are a research lab in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at Science Park, a basic science research campus of MD Anderson located near Austin, Texas. Research in our group explores the mechanisms of genome stability and the consequences for cancer, including the biochemical mechanism of repair of cross-links between DNA strands and the DNA polymerases that help cells tolerate DNA damage.
It is important to understand the mechanisms of DNA repair in detail, because this process is a front-line defense against the mutations that cause cancer. Mammalian cells have numerous strategies for repair of DNA damage and devote many hundreds of genes and proteins to DNA repair. Moreover, the aim of many cancer therapies is to disable tumor DNA by using DNA-damaging radiation and drugs. Our research employs a broad range of investigations, ranging from fundamental biochemical studies and proteomics through cellular biology, to genetically engineered mouse models having impaired pathways of repair and mutagenesis.
Postdoctoral Position Available
We have a funded postdoctoral position open to carry out research on the biochemistry of DNA repair and DNA polymerases. Please contact us by sending your CV and references.
Martin, SK, Tomida J, Wood RD. Disruption of DNA polymerase ζ (zeta) engages an innate immune response. Cell Reports. 2020 Feb 23; 34(8):108775.
Zhan KE, Jensen RB, Wood RD*, Doublié S*. Human DNA polymerase theta harbors DNA end-trimming activity critical for DNA repair. Mol Cell. In press. (*Co-corresponding authors)
Hwang T, Reh S, Dunbayev Y, Zhong Y, Takata Y, Shen J, McBride KM, Murnane JP, Bhak J, Lee S, Wood RD, Takata KI. Defining the mutation signatures of DNA polymerase θ in cancer genomes. NAR Cancer. 2020 Sep;2(3):zcaa017. PMID: 32885167
Carvajal-Garcia J, Cho JE, Carvajal-Garcia P, Feng W, Wood RD, Sekelsky J, Gupta GP, Roberts SA, Ramsden DA. Mechanistic basis for microhomology identification and genome scarring by polymerase theta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Apr 14;117(15):8476-8485. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1921791117. Epub 2020 Mar 31. PMID: 32234782
Feng W, Simpson DA, Carvajal-Garcia J, Price BA, Kumar RJ, Mose LE, Wood RD, Rashid N, Purvis JE, Parker JS, Ramsden DA, Gupta GP. Genetic determinants of cellular addiction to DNA polymerase theta. Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 19;10(1):4286. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12234-1. PMID: 31537809
Martin SK, Wood RD. DNA polymerase ζ in DNA replication and repair. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Sep 19;47(16):8348-8361. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz705. PMID: 31410467
Liu X, Jiang Y, Takata KI, Nowak B, Liu C, Wood RD, Hittelman WN, Plunkett W. CNDAC-induced DNA double strand breaks cause aberrant mitosis prior to cell death. Mol Cancer Ther. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Dec;18(12):2283-2295. PMID: 31501277
Feng W, Simpson DA, Carvajal-Garcia J, Price BA, Kumar RJ, Mose LE, Wood RD, Rashid N, Purvis JE, Parker JS, Ramsden DA, Gupta GP. Genetic determinants of cellular addiction to DNA polymerase theta. Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 19;10(1):4286. PMID: 31537809
Congratulations to Sara Martin, Ph.D., who defended her dissertation in November and has now had her thesis work published in Cell Reports, 2021. Dr. Martin is now a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University in Medford, MA.
The lab welcomes postdoctoral fellow Yuzhen Li, Ph.D., who recently received her PhD degree from Tsinghua University in China. She joins postdoc Denisse Carvajal, Ph.D. from St. Louis University who joined the lab in 2018.
The Wood lab continues to collaborate with former lab colleagues Kei-ichi Takata, who now leads a laboratory at the Institute for Basic Science, Center for Genomic Integrity, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Ulsan, S. Korea, and Junya Tomida, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
We are pleased to have research support from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.
In the image below, a double-fluorescent Cre reporter system was used to monitor Cre recombinase activity in skin. In this system, the transgene mT/mG expresses red fluorescence in cell membranes before Cre-mediated recombination and green fluorescence after Cre-mediated recombination. We can use this system in conditional knock-out strains to monitor cell-specific expression of Cre activity and infer where our gene of interest is no longer expressed.