Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has an unparalleled legacy in the basic research arena of BRCA genes, starting with the work of David Livingston, MD, in the early characterization of BRCA1 gene expression in breast and ovarian tumor cells and the subsequent discovery of other BRCA-related genes (PALB2, BRIP1, and BARD1). Alan D'Andrea, MD, discovered the connection of the BRCA genes with the genetic disease Fanconi anemia, and also the link of BRCA-related genes with POLymerases that can be therapeutically targeted.
Dana-Farber has continued this outstanding track record of discoveries in the basic biology of BRCA1/2 and other genes critical for DNA repair to complement our groundbreaking translational and clinical research. We also have a track record of prestigious funding awards, such as from Stand Up to Cancer and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants in breast, ovarian, and gastrointestinal cancers. Research performed in the BRCA and Related Genes Center encompasses chemoprevention, development of novel therapies, and innovative early detection strategies across the related diseases.