Areas of Research
- DNA Repair Research
- DNA Polymerases Research
- Genome Stability Research
- Genetic Predisposition to Cancers Research
Wood Lab Group Photo
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 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.
In the image below, and at the top of the page, 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.