STEM Talk Sheds Light on Cancer Resistance

By Madelyn Petta – Managing Editor

For Sreerupa Ray of Linfield College, the most fundamental process in studying cancer is how chromosomes respond to damage. Ray presented her findings on how proteins can repair damaged chromosomes at this month’s installment in Clark’s STEM Seminar series on May 11.

From noon to 1 p.m. in STEM building room 151, Ray, who earned a doctorate in biochemistry from Louisiana State University and a postdoctoral degree at Yale School of Medicine, explained how chromosome damage, called aberration, triggers intricate response pathways. Ray’s studies and research focus on the role of a certain protein, DNA Polymerase Beta, in aberration repair.
Ray said chromosome damage is normal in cell replication, but what grabs her attention is when normal response triggers, like repair or cell death, aren’t occurring, which allows cancerous cells to grow exponentially.
Ray’s research involves intentionally damaging isolated cells and activating Red Fluorescent Proteins.

“It’s about putting all these pieces together, one day,” Ray said.

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