Dr. Xie focuses on uncovering mutation-independent mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer. The prevalence of drug resistance in tumors – and collateral damage to healthy tissues – have been major roadblocks to improving the efficacy of chemotherapy. While current research has been focused on identifying mutations that confer cancer drug resistance, an emerging paradigm is that mutation-independent changes in the chromatin or proteins could be a hidden force that promotes the development of drug resistance. Her goal is to identify and characterize the heritable “molecular memories” that can confer a fitness advantage during future exposure to chemotherapeutics and other stresses.
Content courtesy of Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation