Research Group "DNA Damage response and Cancer"
Genome maintenance is crucial for the integrity of individual cells and the entire organism. Failure to repair genotoxic lesions leads to an increased mutation frequency and ultimately promotes tumor development. Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that genes involved in DNA damage signaling and DNA repair are among the most frequently altered genes in human cancer. However, defective DNA repair pathways also create molecular liabilities that might be therapeutically exploitable. The research group of Christian Reinhardt aims at discovering novel molecular liabilities using large-scale functional genomics screens. We validate the discoveries derived from our screening platform using biochemical and cell biological approaches, as well as various distinct genetically engineered mouse models of cancer, including models mimicking lung cancer, breast cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We are closely collaborating with our partners in the clinical departments to actively translate our discoveries into clinical application. The ultimate goal of our work is the development of novel therapeutic approaches for cancer patients.