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Sharon Cantor, Ph.D.

Ph.D.:  1997, Tufts University
Postdoctoral research: Harvard Medical School
Office: University of Massachusetts Medical School
364 Plantatio Street, LRB-415
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone:  508-856-4421


Lab Website

My laboratory focuses on understanding how tumor suppressor proteins function to maintain genomic integrity and suppress cancer. In particular, we focus on the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1, BRCA2 and the BRCA1-associated helicase, FANCJ (BACH1/ BRIP1). Bi-allelic loss of these genes also causes Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare chromosomal instability and cancer syndrome. Our work on FANCJ revealed that DNA repair defects underlie both hereditary breast cancer and FA. Currently, we are employing biochemical and whole-genome screening technologies, to uncover mechanisms regulating DNA repair choice and how cancer cells evade toxic chemotherapies.

Click here for a complete list of published work

Rotation Projects

The laboratory is interested in a range of DNA replication/repair-related topics including (i) Defining biomarkers of “BRCAness” that signifies deficiency in the hereditary breast/ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, (ii) Targeting BRCAness as a replication gap vulnerability, (iii) Defining why replication proficiency requires the FANCJ helicase disengage mismatch repair proteins, (iv) Determining if suppressing gaps improves the health of Fanconi anemia patient cells, (v) Hunting down the cancer vulnerability that defines curability, (vi) performing functional genomic screens to uncover mechanisms regulating chemotherapy resistance.

Positions available  

A post-doctoral position and graduate laboratory rotation are available. Email Sharon Cantor