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Damien D’Amours and his team study the mechanisms that control cell cycle progression and genome stability in eukaryotes. In particular, his research aims to reveal how cells divide their genome during mitosis and how they repair their chromosomes in the presence of DNA damage. His laboratory uses cutting edge proteomics and genomics analyses to identify novel effectors of chromosome stability and regulators of cell cycle checkpoints. Using the systems biology approach, Dr. D’Amours’ team has provided critical new insights into the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of genome integrity in health and disease states, with a particular focus on the genesis of cancer and its resistance to chemotherapy.
Dr. D’Amours made several discoveries that advanced health-related knowledge in the field of genome integrity. Early in his career, he contributed to the identification of conserved molecular defects that are responsible for the Nijmegen breakage syndrome, a cancer predisposition disease affecting a SMC-related complex. As a principal investigator, his laboratory also identified a universal 3-step mechanism that explains how chromosome condensation is initiated and maintained in mitosis. These papers are considered classics because these discoveries made in a model organism were fully validated in human cells. His more recent work has revealed a unique mode of DNA-binding for the Smc5-6 complex, a DNA repair enzyme whose inactivation is responsible for a debilitating lung disease syndrome associated with chromosome breakage in humans. Importantly, discoveries made in Dr. D’Amours’ laboratory are underpinning key translational research efforts to target SMC proteins to cure human diseases.
- FRQS Research Scholars Senior (2015-2017)
- FRQS Research Scholars Junior II (Awarded but declined)
- Canada Research Chair, Tier 2 (2005-2015)
- Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship (2003-2005)
- Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship (1997-2000)