Shawna Guillemette

The role of SASP regulator GATA4 in senescence and cancer, with Stephen Elledge

Department of Genetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

The majority of cancer therapeutics currently used result in DNA damage that can trigger cell death or senescence in cancer cells and in healthy neighboring cells.   Understanding how transformed cells and otherwise healthy cells induce or evade senescence pathways in response to cancer therapies is the major interest of my research in order to better understand therapeutic resistance mechanisms.

I was born and raised in New Hampshire and received my BS in biochemistry from the University of Vermont.  My research career started in Jim Vigoreaux’s lab where I investigated mechanisms of energy transport in Drosophila flight muscle. As a graduate student in Sharon Cantor’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School I studied DNA repair pathways and mechanisms that lead to chemo-resistance in hereditary forms of ovarian cancer.  Currently, I am working with Dr. Stephen Elledge in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Here I aim to elucidate the molecular circuitry that controls cellular senescence.