Sung Jo Defends his Pathology M.S. Thesis

May 8, 2018

Sung Jo and Dr. Weizhou Zhang

Sung Jo (M.S. in Pathology) recently defended his thesis entitled Targeting MSH2-MSH6 Heterodimer in Treating Basal-like Breast Cancer. Sung worked in Dr. Weizhou Zhang’s laboratory where he defined a critical role for the MSH2-MSH6 mismatch repair heterodimer in the pathogenesis of basal-like breast cancer. Gene products involved in mismatch repair have been traditionally thought to be tumor suppressors, and have therefore not been fully explored as agents of tumor progression and possible therapeutic targets. Sung revealed the MSH2 and MSH6 mismatch repair proteins to be highly elevated is basal-like breast cancers and to play a role in cancer progression. This work involved the use of mouse models, cellular and biochemical technologies, genetic and bioinformatics analyses, and high-throughput small molecule drug screens. In addition to identifying the MSH2-MSH6 heterodimer as a driver of basal-like breast cancer, Sung’s work points to this complex as a potential target for mono or combination therapies.