The project will address fundamental questions still unanswered as of today, which we anticipate will cause paradigm shifts in our current understanding of obesity and carcinogenesis, and on the effects of ionizing radiation on humans. Specifically, this project aims to:
1) find the key biological mechanism by which obesity increases cancer risk, a mechanism still unknown today;
2) discover how the DNA damaging and cancer-inducing effects of radiation depend on the radiation's dose schedule.
The project also aims to develop a new methodology that will enable scientists to detect the combination of risk factors that were involved in the cancer of a given patient, i.e. in a personalized way, via the development of novel mutational signatures. Given the large variation in genetic background and environmental exposures among individuals, and given the terrible impact of cancer on the lives of essentially all human beings, it is critical to detect the etiological factors behind a cancer for more individualized therapies. Moreover, in many cases, this knowledge may relieve patients from a tremendous sense of guilt.
These objectives will be reached via novel theoretical, experimental, and technological approaches.