Biochemistry & Cancer Biology


Program for Midwest DNA Repair Symposium

Contact Us

Health Science Campus, Mail Stop #1010

3000 Arlington Avenue
Toledo, OH 43614
419-383-4131 phone
419-383-6228 fax


Keynote Speakers

We will have three keynote speakers and an invited guest speaker during our banquet this year:

"Random Mutations in Human Cancers: Origins and Consequences"  

Lawrence A. Loeb, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, WA
Larry Loeb, M.D., Ph.D., has been Professor and Director of the Joseph Gottstein Research Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington since 1978.  Dr. Loeb's research interests are focused on the association of somatic mutations with human cancers.  In 1974, he proposed the hypothesis that the large numbers of mutations in human cancers result from the expression of a mutator phenotype.  His laboratory consists of five postdoctoral fellows, two MD/PhD students, two research scientists, usually a visiting professor and several undergraduates.  They have extensive experience in measuring the fidelity of DNA synthesis by purified DNA polymerases and in measuring random mutations in human tumors.  For many years, his laboratory has collaborated with investigators throughout the world in studying genetic instability in cancer.  He was awarded an NCI Outstanding Investigator Award from 1985-1999, and has received numerous meritorious scientific achievement awards from throughout the world.  He is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research and the Environmental Mutagen Society.

"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Related to ERCC1-Deficiency"

Laura J. Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA
Laura Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is a member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  The goal of her research is to understand the health impact of DNA damage. Inherited diseases caused by defects in DNA repair mechanisms reveal that DNA damage can drive not only cancer but also many other age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration and osteoporosis.  Her research team uses mouse models of these genome instability disorders to test hypotheses about the underlying mechanism of age-associated degenerative changes including the contribution of stem cell dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction and signaling pathways.  In addition, they are investigating how DNA repair mechanisms contribute to resistance to cancer chemotherapy.  Their goal is to develop analytical tests to identify patients most likely to respond to genotoxic chemotherapeutics and selective inhibitors of DNA repair mechanisms that will sensitize tumors to these chemotherapeutics.

"Function and Control of Translesion DNA Polymerases"

Graham C. Walker, Ph.D.
American Cancer Society Research Professor
HHMI Professor of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graham Walker, Ph.D. is an American Cancer Society Research Professor and HHMI Professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a senior co-author of the 1st and 2nd second editions of DNA Repair and Mutagenesis (ASM Press). For the past 36 years, Graham has worked on how cells respond to DNA damage, with a particular emphasis on how such DNA damage causes mutations. His lab was the first to clone and sequence the mismatch repair genes mutS and mutL, whose human homologs have been implicated in Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Non Polyposis Colon Cancer). His recent findings have included the discovery that UmuD2 and RecA regulate DinB (DNA pol IV) and that NusA, a component of elongating RNA polymerases, has previously unsuspected roles in DNA repair and damage tolerance. Graham’s research on bacterial DNA repair is synergistically related to his recent studies of eukaryotic DNA repair. His research team has shown that levels of the S. cerevisiae Y Family DNA polymerase Rev1 are strikingly regulated during the cell cycle and have analyzed various protein-protein interactions necessary for its function. They have shown that decreasing levels of the mutagenic translesion DNA polymerases can  improve chemotherapy, and have been working on developing a drug to inhibit mutagenesis in humans after exposure to a DNA damaging agent by blocking the Rev1/Rev3/Rev7 pathway of mutagenic translesion synthesis.

Saturday evening banquet speaker, Dr. Bernard Strauss

"50 Years of DNA Repair and Mutation Research"
Bernard S. Strauss, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
The University of Chicago




Last Updated: 6/9/16