Lisa Folkes wins Nucleic Acids Research Award
Lisa Folkes has received the 2011 Nucleic Acids Research Award from the Radiation Research Society. The Award is in recognition of an outstanding abstract submission from a scholar-in-training in the research area of genome integrity, repair and replication.
Lisa's work examines the role of nitric oxide in DNA damage. Nitric oxide (NO) is produced by the body naturally and does a number of jobs. It achieved some notoriety as being central to the mechanism-of-action for Viagra.
When radiation strikes DNA, both NO and Oxygen can react with the damaged DNA to make the damage very difficult to repair. Unlike oxygen, which reacts with damaged DNA to create a break in strand, NO reacts to form a stable species that creates DNA strand breaks when the cell tries to copy the strand or repair the damage. Unlike the damaging effects of oxygen the effects of NO are not well understood. What we do know is that NO is very effective at sensitizing cells to radiation.