KJ Patel studied in medicine in London and completed a PhD with the late Michael Neuberger FRS at the MRC LMB in Cambridge. During his postdoctoral research he contributed significantly to the discovery that the BRCA2 gene product (a human breast cancer suppressor) works by repairing damaged DNA.
KJ now investigates how mammals repair DNA crosslinks. This research led to his principal discovery that reactive aldehydes are a major source of DNA crosslinks. Aldehydes are ubiquitous metabolites, arising not only from many metabolic pathways but also when cells process alcohol. He showed that mammals utilize a two-tier protection mechanism (enzymatic clearance of aldehydes and a specific DNA repair pathway which is inactivated in the cancer prone illness Fanconi’s anaemia) to prevent aldehydes from causing lasting genetic damage. KJ was elected to membership of EMBO and Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013.
Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge Director, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM)
Interest and expertise
Cancer biology, Genome stability, DNA Repair, Metabolism