London Research Institute
Clare Hall Laboratories
Web: Lab website
About Stephen West
Professor Stephen West at our London Research Institute is a pioneer in DNA repair — the way cells mend damage to their DNA. He has made several groundbreaking discoveries, including finding out why faults in the DNA repair gene BRCA2 can lead to breast cancer and ovarian cancer in some women.
Professor West and his team are continuing their work on BRCA2, studying in detail how the BRCA2 protein sticks to DNA and how it works to repair damage. People who inherit a faulty version of BRCA2 have a much higher chance of developing certain types of cancer. So understanding more about BRCA2 might lead to ways of reducing the risk of cancer or treating the disease more effectively in the future. The researchers are also investigating other proteins involved in repairing DNA damage, which may be involved in many types of cancer.
Understanding how cells respond to DNA damage could help to develop ways of preventing cancer, or could lead to new treatments in the future.