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Zach Perdun

 Current Research:


The majority of cancer cells overcome replicative senescence by upregulating telomerase. However, about 10-15 percent of cancers achieve this by utilizing the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway. It has been demonstrated that an important feature of the ALT pathway is the utilization of homologous recombination machinery to provide a template for extension of telomeric DNA. In my research, I utilize CRISPR/Cas9 machinery in a way that will conditionally deplete proteins of interest in ALT positive, human cancer cell lines. Through this, I am better able to understand their function and necessity in the ALT pathway.  Currently, I am investigating the role of the Smc5/6 protein complex, and how its canonical role in facilitating homologous recombination could be important for the ALT pathway.




  • B.S. Biology, minor in Chemistry and Psychology: Anderson University, Anderson SC (2015)

  • MHS Student Research: Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health, (2015-2016)

  • ScM Research Student: Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health, (2016-2017)


Past Research Experience:


  • Cancer Scholar Program: Anderson University, Center for Cancer Research, (2012-2015)

  • Cancer Research Internship: Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Karp Research Building, (2013)

  • Cadaver Lab Practicum: Anderson University, Center for Medical Simulations, (2013-2015)

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