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Dr. Randy J. Legerski

Dr. Randy J. Legerski

Distinguished Senior Lecturer

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Genetics

The overall objective of my laboratory is the study of molecular mechanisms of cellular responses to DNA damage in mammalian systems usually referred to as the DNA damage response or DDR. We are particularly interested in the relationship between these pathways and the degenerative processes of carcinogenesis and aging in humans. A current major focus is the mechanisms by which the cell cycle is regulated in response to DNA damage and other forms of cellular stress. Particularly we are interested in both the imposition of cell cycle arrest and the ultimate recovery from the checkpoint. In this regard, we are investigating the functions of a small gene family referred to as SNM1 ( sensitivity to nitrogen mustard). This family includes Artemis, Apollo, and SNM1A all of which we have demonstrated to have roles in cell cycle regulation in response to cellular stress. Our primary goal is the define the biochemical function of the proteins expressed by these three related genes.

A second goal of the laboratory is to define the mechanisms by which DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) are repaired in mammalian cells. Repair of ICLs is a significant topic for human health since important chemotherapeutic agents used against cancer and other diseases can induce these lesions. Repair of ICLs is poorly understood in mammalian cells and the elucidation of these pathways can lead to the development of more efficacious drugs, and the possible identification of targets for chemo-sensitization.



MDACC Faculty

Program Affiliations:

Program in Genes and Development

Program in Human and Molecular Genetics

Contact Information

Phone: 713.834.6363


Office: MDA BSRB S13.8336c (Unit 1010)

Title: Professor


Ph.D. - University of Houston - 1978