Shan Yan

Categories:Faculty, Spotlights

Biologist’s Work Holds Promise In Cancer Research

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Shan Yan, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UNC Charlotte, has received a $1.7 million R01 research grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Findings are expected to offer insight into how cancers develop and to open avenues to new therapeutic strategies, especially with pancreatic cancers.

Yan’s lab researches DNA damage that human cells sustain each day from internal and environmental assaults. Oxidative DNA damage and single-strand breaks, or SSBs, in the DNA duplex are critical challenges to genomic stability and can lead to the formation of tumors when the body does not repair the damage quickly or properly. Researchers know that the body’s cells have a complex set of processes that constantly assess the damage and make repairs to fragile genetic material. Yet, the vital biochemical processes by which this constant DNA repair takes place are still only partially understood because of their complexity, speed, and the difficulty of studying complex interactions within living cells. Moreover, it remains unknown how cells sense the oxidatively damaged DNA in the first place. Yan and his team are working to answer these critical questions. Read more >>