Areas of Research
- DNA Repair Research
- DNA Polymerases Research
- Genome Stability Research
- Genetic Predisposition to Cancers Research
Wood Lab Group Photo, Summer 2021
Welcome to the Wood Laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 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. Research in the Wood Lab 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.
Recent Publications and Events
Martin, SK, Tomida J, Wood RD. Disruption of DNA polymerase ζ (zeta) engages an innate immune response. Cell Reports. 2021 Feb 23; 34(8):108775. PMID: 33626348
Zhan KE, Jensen RB, Wood RD*, Doublié S*. Human DNA polymerase theta harbors DNA end-trimming activity critical for DNA repair. Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 1;81(7):1534-1547.e4. (*Co-corresponding authors). PMID: 33577776. Press Release (This study reveals that DNA polymerase θ acts not only as a polymerase, but also as an endonuclease, and that the same active site controls these dual functions.)
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
Rick Wood, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2021 Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society Award, which recognizes outstanding research contributions in the areas of environmental mutagenesis and genomics.
Welcome to postdoctoral fellow Mélanie Prodhomme, Ph.D., who joined us at the end of April from the Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL).
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 currently a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University in Medford, MA, where she was selected as an IRACDA (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development) scholar in May.
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.