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- B. S. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 2001
- Ph. D. Colorado State University, Fort Collins 2008
- Postdoctoral Fellow Colorado State University 2010
Dr. Ashley’s research focuses on replication of genetic information, a fundamental biological process common to all living organisms, and maintenance of its integrity. DNA repair systems protect cells from damage caused by numerous intrinsic and extrinsic sources, thereby helping to maintain genome integrity. The genome is particularly vulnerable during DNA replication, and a growing body of evidence supports a nexus between replication and repair factors that act in complex enzymatic and signaling networks in response to DNA damage-induced replication stress. Various proteins have been identified during the last decade that function to stabilize and restart stalled replication forks, and restart collapsed forks. Many of these proteins have well-defined roles in DNA double-strand break repair, including homologous recombination (HR) repair, non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and/or DNA damage checkpoint signaling. Dr. Ashley’s research centers on perturbations in DNA replication that can potentially precede carcinogenesis in an attempt to elucidate cancer etiology and provide novel targets for chemotherapeutic interventions.
Currently, the lab is researching mechanisms to sensitize triple negative breast cancer (TBNC) cells to doxorubicin. TNBC is a clinical subtype disproportionately fatal to women of African American and Latina descent, in part due to the resistance they develop to the chemotherapeutic agent, doxorubicin. Our goal, in collaboration with Chris Kemp at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, is to elucidate new targets in this highly fatal breast cancer subtype.