IHWR and Japanese University to develop DNA damage detection methods

In collaboration with Professor Iwai from Osaka University in Japan, Institute members Professor Paul Kong and Dr Marie Goua have been awarded funding from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation to develop a new and rapid method of analysing DNA damage in cells.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (or DNA) contains the genetic instructions that cells rely upon to replicate themselves correctly. During its lifespan, this rich instruction set can be damaged by either the body's own metabolism or by external environmental or chemical agents. If the damaged cell cannot be repaired before the cell replicates, diseases such as cancer can result. Clearly, the early detection of cell DNA damage is an important step in the treatment and management of these diseases.

Unfortunately, current methods of measuring cellular damage—while effective—are very laborious and time consuming to undertake. Prof. Kong and his team hope to develop a new technique for the rapid detection of DNA damage. Their work will pave the way to an automated form of DNA damage detection that will have wide applications across many other fields of science.

The Institute for Health and Welfare Research (IHWR) aims to address the major issues around the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and welfare of patients. One way IHWR researchers meet this aim is through collaborative research projects funded by organisations such as The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. The foundation's purpose is to support closer links between Britain and Japan through funding a variety of international collaborations, including scientific research. Visit for more information about the foundation.

For more information about the Institute's research, visit the IHWR Home Pages.