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DNA Damage, Chromosome Stability, and Cancer

Welcome to the Pannunzio Lab! We are a Cancer Genetics lab that focuses on mechanisms underpinning the large-scale chromosome rearrangements that occur in B cells and result in leukemia and lymphoma. We do this by studying how a person’s genetic background and lifestyle (diet, environment, medical intervention, etc.) contribute to damage to DNA that can result in cancer.

A major initiative in our lab is to understand what is driving cancer health disparities in certain populations. There is a higher incidence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Hispanics and multiple myeloma in African Americans. Through our work, we want to understand why these populations are disproportionately affected by these cancers. Another hurdle we want to overcome is de-aggregation of genomics data from ethnically and culturally distinct groups. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau and the scientific community place all Hispanics under one umbrella instead of differentiating between Spanish, Mexican, Central American, South America, Native American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican. The result is aggregation of data and masking of health disparities within distinct communities.

The Pannunzio Laboratory
Office: 124 Sprague Hall
(949) 824-5638
Lab: B100 Sprague Hall
(949) 824-8789