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Bernstein Lab

Principal Investigator

Kara Bernstein, PhD
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2.35 University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Research Description

Repair of DNA damage is crucial to prevent accumulation of mutations that can cause human disease, such as cancer. Our lab studies how double-strand breaks in the DNA, one of the most lethal types of DNA lesions, are repaired. Many proteins are important for DNA repair including the Shu complex and the Rad51 paralogs, whose mutation is associated with cancer predisposition and Fanconi anemia. Our lab uses cell biological, molecular, and genetic approaches to study the role of double-strand break repair proteins, such as the Shu complex and the Rad51 paralogs, in response to DNA damage. By understanding the mechanism of double-strand break repair and the role of DNA repair proteins in this process, we will uncover mechanisms of tumorigenesis and cancer progression. We will then use this knowledge to aid in diagnosis/prognosis of different types of cancers and to find novel therapeutic targets. 

Dr. Bernstein conducts her research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. 


Braulio Bonilla - Graduate Student

Thong Luong - Graduate Student

Sarah Hengel - Post Doctoral Associate


Meghan Sullivan -Postdoctoral Associate