Michael Goldstein, MD, PhD

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My lab is interested in studying the molecular pathways of DNA damage response (DDR). Radiation and chemotherapy are widely used modalities of cancer treatment that induce DNA damage to kill cancer cells. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of the DDR can help improving cancer treatment. I am specifically interested in epigenetic changes that occur at the sites of DNA damage including chromatin structure modulations and post-translational modifications of histone proteins. These events are critical for repair of DNA lesions making chromatin modifying enzymes potential targets for sensitization of cancer cells to genotoxic therapy. We have shown that nucleosome disassembly at DNA double-stranded breaks facilitated by nucleolin plays an important role in DNA repair. Currently, we are developing radio- and chemosensitizers that specifically target this repair pathway in cancer cells while sparing healthy tissues. We intend to improve the outcome of cancer treatment by combining radiation and chemotherapy with these novel therapeutics.