Robert Schiestl, PhD

Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Department of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Robert Schiestl's work focuses on basic mechanisms, genetic control and inducibility by carcinogens of homologous and illegitimate recombination, as well as molecular events involved in carcinogenesis. Experiments are carried out in yeast, human cells and in transgenic mice. Current projects include determining inter-individual differences in DNA double-strand break repair efficiency in cells from radiation sensitive cancer patients with the aim of ultimately identifying new genes affecting cancer predisposition; determining the effects of mutations in DNA repair and DNA damage sensing genes such as Atm, p53, p21, Gadd45, rad52, Ku80, DNAPk, Ogg1, Myh, Bloom and Werner syndrome on spontaneous and carcinogen-induced genetic instability in mice; and determining basic mechanisms, genetic control and inducibility by carcinogens of DNA deletions, and illegitimate recombination in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Collaborating with Jonathan Braun, Dr Schiestl is also exploring the development of extraintestinal manifestations of intestinal inflammation, including hematopoietic cancers, hepatobiliary cancers, and other solid cancers and autoimmune disorders. Systemic genotoxicity is there an important and previously unappreciated consequence of chronic intestinal inflammation, which over time may promote the development of extraintestinal disease. Although a new member of the Center, Dr Schiestl has important collaborations with Drs Noriyuki Kasahara, Jonathan Braun and Nora Rozengurt.