Dr. Richard D. Wood
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center
My laboratory is located in Smithville, Texas, at UT Science Park
Many enzymes and regulatory proteins are devoted to the repair of DNA damage arising from agents inside cells and from the environment. DNA repair is a front-line defense against the mutations that can accumulate to cause cancer. Research in my laboratory includes exploration of the biochemical mechanism of the DNA nucleotide excision repair pathway in human cells. In one study we are examining how this repair process participates in resolving cross-links between DNA strands. We also investigate several DNA polymerases that help cells tolerate DNA damage. Some of the work is with a mouse model deficient in DNA polymerase zeta, to understand the role of this enzyme in chromosome instability, skin carcinogenesis and mammary carcinogenesis. We also are determining the biochemical and cellular functions of two other specialized DNA polymerases which were isolated in our laboratory, POLQ and POLN. These enzymes have an unusual ability to bypass specific lesions in DNA templates.
A tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience with expression of recombinant proteins, protein purification, and biochemical measurements of DNA repair and DNA replication as well as measurements using genetically manipulated living mammalian cells.
Program in Molecular Carcinogenesis
Office: MDA SRD1.106 (Unit 116)
Ph.D. - University of California at Berkeley - 1981