OMRF scientist receives grant to study cancer triggers, birth defects

Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 By: Staff Reports Source: NewsOK

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has received a five-year, $1.7 million grant to look at how DNA replicates itself. The results could lead to new information about how cancer and birth defects develop.

The grant, awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will allow OMRF researcher Chris Sansam, Ph.D., to better understand what goes wrong in cells during the development of cancer and birth defects by applying what is learned in a normal setting in the genes.

DNA replication is the process by which genes duplicate. Every human begins as one cell, but the body is composed of billions, meaning countless cell divisions occur during a lifetime.

“Every time a cell divides, the entire genome has to be replicated accurately, but the mechanisms responsible for that are still largely unknown,” Sansam said. “If we can understand how things are supposed to operate under normal circumstances, then we can identify what happens when things go wrong.”

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