Grant recipient

Andrew Blackford

Mechanisms and Targeting of RecQ Helicases in Cancer
Grant amount: 9.873.907 DKK

Andrew Blackford says: DNA is found in every cell in our bodies and encodes the blueprints that make us what we are. Although DNA is relatively stable, there are ways it can become damaged so that bits of it are lost or changed so that it no longer works the way it should. Common sources of DNA damage include ultra-violet rays from the sun and by-products that come from what we eat, drink, or breathe in, such as alcohol and tobacco smoke. In fact, DNA is damaged so often that our cells have evolved to produce proteins that are able to repair it. One set of proteins that helps do this is called the RecQ helicases. We know that RecQ helicases play an important role in our bodies because when they are mutated, this can lead to syndromes associated with increased cancer risk, premature ageing, and a faulty immune system. The aim of this proposal is to investigate how the RecQ family of helicases functions at the molecular level, which is still relatively poorly understood but is very important for human health.

Andrew Blackford is currently Associate Professor and group leader at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. With the grant, he will relocate to the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, where he will be associated with the DNRF Center for Chromosome Stability as Associate Professor and Group Leader.

Andrew Blackford
Andrew Blackford
Associate professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen