The Helleday lab wishes to congratulate Saeed Eshtad on a successful thesis defence on Monday February 13th!

Saeeds’s thesis is called “Targeting DNA repair pathways for cancer therapy” and the aim of the thesis was to identify and understand if factors important in DNA repair of lesions caused by oxidative stress can be targeted to develop new effective cancer therapies. Changes, or mutations, in our DNA can lead to the development of cancer and to prevent this from happening, our cells are equipped with DNA repair mechanisms that safeguard our genome. However, if these repair mechanisms fail, or as a consequence of exposure to so called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other mutagens, lesions can form in our DNA that can ultimately lead to cancer. Saeed demonstrated, together with a multidisciplinary research team, that the DNA repair enzyme, MTH1, can be targeted by selective inhibitors developed in the Helleday laboratory to kill cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, two additional DNA repair enzymes involved in removing oxidative damage from DNA were shown to be important for cancer cell survival and showed potential as anticancer targets. Overall, the results presented in Saeed’s thesis have increased our understanding of how cancer cells depend on DNA repair pathways to resolve ROS-induced DNA damage and how this can be exploited to develop new treatments.

The thesis supervisor was Thomas Helleday opponent at the thesis defence was Professor Arne Klungland from Oslo University Hospital.

You can find the complete thesis here.

Once again, congratulations!

The newly minted PhD, and professor Helleday seen celebrating after the thesis defence.

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