Correcting the blueprint of life
All facets, of what is living, are coded into ATGC sequence of the DNA. Surprisingly, this keeper of genetic information is pretty unstable and its integrity is constantly challenged from within and outside. Fortunately, living systems are equipped with highly complex repair nano-machines that maintain the inherent DNA structure and function. Many different repair pathways exist to effectively handle a high burden of diverse types of DNA lesions in our cells. Ultimate goal is to retain the original genetic information with highest fidelity. Failure of any component of the repair processes can translate into intolerable mutations and incurable diseases. For the last four decades at OSU, Dr. Wani’s research has methodically unraveled the role of some of the key players as well as their interplay which is at the heart of one of the human DNA repair pathways known as nucleotide excision repair. Award of 2015 Nobel Prize to Dr. Aziz Sancar, a pioneer in nucleotide excision repair research, constitutes the ultimate recognition for this important biological phenomenon. A few highlights, focusing on the history and mystery of DNA repair, will be shared with the audience.