Richard Baer

Richard Baer, PhD

Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology

Women who carry germline mutations in the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene are prone to develop basal-like triple-negative breast tumors, an especially lethal subtype of human breast cancer. Richard Baer studies the mechanisms by which BRCA1 suppresses tumor formation and how these mechanisms are disrupted in BRCA1 mutation carriers. In vivo, BRCA1 exists in the form of a heterodimer with another structurally-related tumor suppressor, the BARD1 protein. Most of the cellular functions attributed to BRCA1, including its critical activities in genome stability and tumor suppression, are mediated by the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer. The Baer laboratory uses biochemical, cellular, and organismal approaches to characterize the BRCA1/BARD1 complex and its associated factors, such as the DNA repair protein CtIP. These studies seek to define the biological functions of the BRCA1/BARD1 pathway, particularly with respect to maintenance of genome stability, and how the loss of these functions promotes breast and ovarian cancer.

  • Deputy Director, Institute for Cancer Genetics
  • Associate Director for Basic Research, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

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