Affiliation: Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare, Milano, IT
Keywords: DNA replication, recombination, chromosome structure, sister chromatid cohesion, DNA damage response, cell cycle
Molecular biologist Dana Branzei is one of IFOM Milan’s youngest tenured group leaders. Dana’s laboratory researches mechanisms of DNA repair and replication stress tolerance that operate in eukaryotic cells, and the regulatory pathways that coordinate their usage.
At a young age Dana, as well as members of the scientific community, discovered her talent for science. Participating in Romania’s annual Chemistry Olympics throughout her high-school years, she was scouted. Receiving exclusive scholarships from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Dana learnt Japanese in one year and then did her bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Studies and PhD in molecular biology at Tohoku University. Continuing her career in Japan and affirming herself as a DNA repair and genome stability researcher, Dana then became a research fellow scientist at the prestigious Riken Institute.
For a brief sabbatical, Dana worked in Marco Foiani’s Lab at IFOM. Taking advantage of the technologies available, Dana thrived and achieved amazing results. Soon after, Dana chose to return to IFOM. She quickly became a Principal Investigator and her lab DNA Repair was immediately supported by important funding bodies including Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) grant, a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC), and Telethon.
From 2016, she also receives an ERC Consolidator Grant.
Dana continues to live and breathe science around the clock. She asks new questions, enters new fields, uses different model systems, and experimental approaches. Learning and experimentation, nurturing young talent, promoting collaboration and open exchange of ideas are of value to Dana. Passion accompanied by essential ‘hard-work’, as she puts it, Dana today is author of over 50 papers published in prestigious international scientific journals.