Remi Buisson, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Unraveling the role of ATR in DNA repair and ovarian cancer therapy
Proteins involved in the surveillance of genomic integrity, including BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2, help detect damage to DNA in cells and ensure that repairs are made when needed. Cells with mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 have been associated with a heightened lifetime risk for ovarian cancer development and are extremely sensitive to inhibitors of the DNA repair protein PARP. These PARP inhibitors have recently emerged as promising anti-cancer drugs. However, mutations in BRCA genes and PALB2 account only for 15-20% of ovarian cancer. Dr. Buisson’s project will hone in on inhibitors of ATR kinase, a key protein regulating DNA damage signaling and DNA repair, as a way of rendering the other 80-85% of ovarian cancers sensitive to PARP inhibitors and other chemotherapeutics.