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David Chu

Class 2011
Education BS, University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Ben Park

Research Interests

With the advent of next generation sequencing technologies, the ability to understand cancer at the whole genome level is now a reality. Studies using these methodologies have revealed an unprecedented amount of detail about the variety of genetic abnormalities found in cancer, including DNA sequence changes, translocations, copy-number variants, deletions, duplications and amplifications. One of the recurring themes from recent sequencing efforts is that the number of common mutations, or “hotspot” mutations, is severely scarce. In fact, the “cancer landscape” consists of only a handful of genes that are mutated at a substantial frequency, while the majority of mutations are found in multiple different genes that occur at relatively low frequencies. Additionally, given that most cancer mutations are heterozygous missense mutations, uncovering which mutations are functionally important is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Utilizing various cell lines, we hope to develop a technology that will allow us to expedite the rate in which we are able to functionally annotate mutations that are involved in breast cancer progression.