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Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author, July 2021

July 14, 2021

Rebecca SwanRebecca Swan is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the July 2021 issue.  The research was completed while Dr. Swan was a graduate student in the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University under the mentorship of Professor Caroline Austin and Dr. Ian Cowell. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “A Role for VCP/p97 in the Processing of Drug-Stabilized TOP2-DNA Covalent Complexes” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/molpharm.121.000262.

As a graduate student, Dr. Swan investigated mechanisms of repair of topoisomerase II-DNA covalent complexes, which are induced upon treatment with commonly used anticancer agents called topoisomerase II (TOP2) poisons. Her research utilized immunofluorescence-based techniques to assess the impact of specific small molecule inhibitors on the repair of TOP2 poison-induced topoisomerase II-DNA complexes and TOP2 poison cytotoxicity. Her work suggests that VCP/p97, a component of the proteasomal processing pathway, is an important mediator of TOP2-DNA complex repair, which can be targeted by small-molecule inhibitors.

The anticipated impact of this research is that it may lead to a better understanding of how to improve anticancer therapy of TOP2 poisons by increasing their drug cytotoxicity while reducing their genotoxicity.

Currently, Dr. Swan is working at the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), a UK Department of Health approved Public Health England commissioned national service that provides expert advice on all aspects of acute and chronic poisoning.

Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys walking her dogs, food, fitness, and spending time with her expanding family.

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