MUSC Hollings Cancer Center


Daniel Fernandes
Daniel J. Fernandes, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
College of Medicine
Medical University of South Carolina
Advanced Education:
1978, PhD, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Postdoctoral Training:
1978 - 1980: Fellowship, Pharmacology - Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Research Interest:
The expression of amplified genes is associated with the initiation and progression of cancers as well as the development of tumor cell resistance to anticancer drugs. A major goal of my laboratory is to determine the biochemical mechanism involved in gene amplification. We are testing the hypothesis that alterations in the synthesis of DNA intermediates required for DNA replication are early biochemical events that lead to the amplification of the oncogenes and certain drug resistance genes. Future studies are aimed at developing new therapies that can prevent the emergence of malignant and drug resistance phenotypes by blocking gene amplification. Specifically, we are testing the ability of fludarabine, an inhibitor of DNA replication, to block the amplification of the Mdr-1 and Pgp genes and prevent the subsequent development of drug resistance in patients having acute myelogeneous leukemia. DNA topoisomerases are enzymes that regulate the degree of DNA supercoiling in the cell. In a second major project we are testing the hypotheses that topoisomerase I and topoisomerase II poisons irreversibly damage DNA by inducing double-strand breaks in replication forks on the nuclear matrix. The cleaved replication forks then detach from the nuclear matrix, which induces DNA disorganization and apoptosis. Subsequent studies are aimed at identifying the cellular events that signal apoptosis and DNA repair following drug-induced damage to replicating DNA.
Research Program:
Developmental Cancer Therapeutics
Other Significant Appointments:
2007-Present: Associate Director of Translational Research
Hollings Cancer Center

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