Our genome is constantly exposed to damaging factors originating from the cell metabolism and from the environment. DNA damage and defective DNA repair lead to the acquisition of mutations, predisposing healthy tissues to cancer initiation. DNA damage can be thought of as an enabling factor, driving the acquisition of the hallmarks of cancer. It is necessary yet not sufficient for tumor initiation as the cell microenvironment exerts a profound normalizing effect on cell behavior.
Research in the Vidi laboratory focuses on the regulation of the DNA damage response in healthy tissues, with the long-term goal of developing targeted cancer prevention strategies.