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We congratulate Dr. Arina Riabinska on a very successful PhD Defense!


On July 5th, Dr. Arina Riabinska defended her PhD with the title "The biology and molecular vulnerabilities of ATM-deficient cancers".

In a set of experiments performed in ATM pro- and deficient settings, Dr. Riabinska and colleagues were able to confirm the addiction of ATM-deficient human and murine cells to DNA-PKcs. They could also show the tolerance of ATM-wildtype cells to DNA-PKcs inhibitors, illustrating the advantages of these molecules as potential therapeutics, due to the lack of toxicity in normal tissues. Dr. Riabinska has also investigated the biological effects of ATM re-expression in cancer, using a reactivatable Atm allele, which phenocopies Atm-knockout mutants with regard to radiosensitivity, defects in immune cell maturation, and cancer predisposition. The work done by Dr. Riabinska and colleagues has furthermore served as as a background for initiation of a phase I clinical trial for patients with advanced solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.