Ly Awarded 3-Year Welch Foundation Grant

Dr. Peter Ly Photo
Peter Ly PhD

Peter Ly Awarded 3-Year Welch Foundation Grant

For his project " Mutagenic Chromosomal Rearrangements from Diverse DNA Repair Pathways," Peter Ly, PhD, has been awarded $240K over three years. Chromothripsis is characterized by complex DNA rearrangements that are localized to a single chromosome. Recent pan-cancer analyses of tumor genomes revealed that chromothripsis is prevalent in nearly one-third of human malignancies. Mechanistically, mitotic chromosome segregation errors producing abnormal structures called micronuclei can instigate chromothripsis through the fragmentation of mis-segregated chromosomes. These fragments presumably activate the DNA damage response (DDR) and trigger the formation of a spectrum of DNA rearrangements types. Although a diverse repertoire of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways can be utilized in response to DNA damage, how the DDR and biochemically distinct modes of DSB repair function to reassemble these fragments remain a critical knowledge gap in our understanding of how cancer genomes acquire DNA rearrangements. The Ly Lab hypothesizes that DSB repair pathway choice coupled to the presence of spontaneous genomic lesions are major determinants of the mutagenic rearrangement landscapes from mitotic errors.

The Welch Foundation, based in Houston, Texas, is one of the United States' oldest and largest private funding sources for chemistry researchers. It is a non-profit organization named for Robert Alonzo Welch, an industrialist who provided the funds to set up the foundation, along with scholarships, endowments, and funding for chemical research. Since its founding in 1954, the organization has contributed to the advancement of chemistry through research grants, departmental programs, endowed chairs, visiting lectureships, scholarships, and other special projects at educational institutions in Texas.

Award Details

Title: Mutagenic Chromosomal Rearrangements from Diverse DNA Repair Pathways

Project period: 3 years

Award Amount: $240,000 ($80k/yr)