Faculty Advisor

Duffy, Joseph B.


Breast and ovarian cancers are two of the most prevalent types of cancer in women and kill over 55,000 people annually in the US alone. A number of these cases are deficient in BRCA1 or 2, tumor suppressor genes involved in DNA repair. Although they originally respond to typical chemotherapy treatments, over 40% of BRCA patients develop resistance. Through an unbiased RNA interference screen, we have identified a number of genes which synergize with BRCA2 deficiency to cause chemotherapy resistance. In order to validate these candidates, the genes have been knocked down in BRCA2 cell lines through RNAi and treated with increasing doses of cisplatin to confirm resistance. Common mutations in these genes have also been identified through published literature.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2012


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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