Natalie Gassman, PhD

VIC Fellow

Natalie Gassman, PhD received a BA in chemistry from Michigan State University, where she was also a member of the Women’s Crew team. She earned a PhD from the University of California Los Angeles in chemistry in 2008. She held post-doctorate positions at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Her postdoctoral training focused on the role of DNA repair in response to environmental exposures and how modulated DNA repair mechanism contribute to cancer development. As an assistant professor of physiology and cell biology at the USA College of Medicine and a cancer researcher at MCI, Natalie focuses her work on characterizing the influence that environmental exposures has on DNA repair and characterizing how DNA repair proteins are altered or modified in the context of cancer. She has also developed a versatile detection method that helps identify deficiencies in repair mechanisms that give cancer cells a survival edge and hopes that these results can be applied in a clinical setting to tailor therapies for cancer patients. “Our team is trying to find the magic formula – how much DNA damage you have and how you will respond to treatment,” she said. “It’s personalized medicine for your genome.”