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Heng Ru, Ph.D., Postdoctoral FellowBoston Children’s Hospital

I am grateful for CRI's funding that allows me to explore the mysteries behind the generation of antibody diversity.
Area of Research: Colorectal Cancer, Leukemia

Our T and B cells can target trillions of different molecular patterns with the help of a protein complex called RAG, which recognizes specific DNA sequences and rearranges genes. However, because this process involves cutting and splicing DNA, sometimes DNA pieces get inserted into the wrong place in the genome and contribute to leukemia and lymphoma development. Dr. Ru is dissecting this process by characterizing RAG’s physical structure and how it binds and cleaves DNA. Additionally, he’s determining how certain mutations affect RAG’s structure and function to gain some insights into the mechanisms that may be responsible for RAG-induced blood cancers. This work will expand our knowledge of the causes of aberrant RAG activity, and may lead to ways to better address the deficiencies in patients.

Projects and Grants

Structural and biochemical studies of the antigen receptor gene recombination machinery

Boston Children’s Hospital | Colorectal Cancer, Leukemia | 2015 | Hao Wu, Ph.D.

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