Principal Investigator: Kevin Hiom

Pat McPherson Chair of Cancer Biology


Medical Research Institute

Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre

James Arrott Drive

Ninewells Medical School & Hospital

University of Dundee. DD1 9SY


ph: +44 (0)1382 383360

Medical Research Institute & Dundee Cancer Centre

Genome Instability & Cancer

Cancer cells exhibit profound genomic instability resulting in the accumulation of mutations and DNA breaks as well as gross chromosomal rearrangements and aberrations. Loss of genome stability is commonly associated with defects in  proteins which signal the presence of DNA lesions and participate in their repair as part of the DNA Damage Response. Inherited defects in DDR factors are responsible for a broad range of human diseases and cancer predisposing conditions, including Fanconi’s anaemia, Ataxia telangiectasia, Seckel syndrome and early onset breast and ovarian cancer.

As well as being a driving force towards cancer, defects in the DDR sensitise cancer cells to agents that damage DNA and therefore can be exploited in therapy.

Our group is interested in understanding the fundamental molecular mechanisms used by cells to detect and repair DNA damage and in using this information to discover new cancer therapies. One specific interest in our lab is the function of the breast cancer associated tumour suppressor BRCA1 and its associated proteins. Current knowledge suggests that BRCA1 functions as a mediator, coordinating and integrating different components of the DDR to protect against the harmful consequences of damaged DNA. Consequently, BRCA1 and its partners may be important targets for therapeutic intervention for treatment of breast and ovarian cancer.


We are always keen to recruit bright and enthusiastic post-docs and students with an interest in DNA repair, the DNA damage response, ubiquitin signalling and cancer. If this is you then why not email us.

The MRI at Dundee is looking for junior group leaders in cancer research, who have the potential to attract a research fellowship, for its tenure-track program. Current research strengths in the MRI include genome stability, signalling, epithelial biology and stress responses. In particular researchers with interest and expertise in cancer cell biology are encouraged to apply.

Funded By:




Manuscript accepted by MCB on the role of BRCA1 in the Fanconi Anemia pathway

Masters Student Lotte Watts gains DISTINCTION in
her MRes Cancer BiologyNews.htmlNews.htmlNews.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1