DNA repair, mutagenesis, and cancer

Prof. Zvi Livneh, Department of Biological Chemistry

Director, Institute for Cancer Prevention, Moross Integrated Cancer Center


Genomic DNA is constantly damaged by external agents, such as sunlight and tobacco smoke, and by intracellular agents, such as reactive oxygen species.

It was estimated that the DNA in each cell of our body is being damaged at least 50,000 times every day. Proper function of DNA replication and gene expression in all organisms rely on DNA-repair mechanisms.

Failure to repair DNA, or its error-prone repair, can cause severe biological consequences, including cancer, immunodeficiency, premature aging, and neurodegeneration.

Prof. Livneh’s laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair and mutagenesis and their biological role under normal and pathological conditions, primarily cancer.

He and his colleagues are now pioneering a method based on a panel of DNA-repair biomarkers that will assist physicians in the risk assessment and early detection of lung cancer.