|Bev Engelward||M.I.T.||Applications of “Recombomice” for Cancer Research||R33|
Dr Engelward created and engineered a substrate capable of yielding fluorescence at recombination, thereby allowing her group to engineer the first-ever mouse model in which homology-directed repair (HDR) can be detected in somatic cells by the appearance of a fluorescent signal. The development of a live model to test the role of homologous recombination through the use of a fluorescent protein is highly significant, as it permits the study of the role of recombination in cancer and the environmental and genetic factors that put cells at risk. Such a reliable and convenient reporter system greatly enhances studies of HDR in whole animals, thus giving such a technology broad-spectrum applicability. The major impact of Dr Engelward's technology include the increased simplicity and rapidity of recombinant assays capable of overcoming limitations imposed by previous model systems including detection of loss of heterozygosity, capturing in situ images of recombined cells, and discrimination of independent lineages of recombinant cells in vivo. Pubmed lists 27 publications focused on recombomice technology, including 5 focused on fluorescent imaging and 8 specifically focused on cancer.