Cancer cells contain gene mutations that affect the stability of the genome. In the Hieter lab we are interested in identifying and characterizing these genes in several model systems.
My research focuses on identifying genes whose over-expression increases genome instability. Using high throughput genetic screens we have generated a catalogue of dosage chromosome instability genes in yeast. I have recapitulated these results in human cells using a new human artificial chromosome (HAC) based chromosome instability assay.
The ultimate goal of my work is using conserved genetic interactions to make cancer more susceptible to chemotherapy drugs. The idea behind this is, combining dosage chromosome instability genes with secondary gene deletions to identify gene combinations that will cause cell death. This will allow selective targeting of cancer cells that have preexisting genetic perturbation (such as the overproduction of a dosage CIN gene).