From the moment of our conception, our DNA is subject to damage, the most serious form being a break in both strands of the DNA double helix. Unless these breaks are resealed correctly, whole segments of our genome can be lost or irrevocably mutated to fuel a self-propagating process of volatility that underlies cancer formation, radiation poisoning and/or premature cellular aging.
Our research focuses on slow-repairing DNA double strand breaks, particularly those induced within densely compacted heterochromatin or by high linear energy transfer ionizing radiation such as alpha particles emitted by radon gas. We are especially curious about DNA double-strand break repair processes involving nucleosome remodeling enzymes. Discoveries in these areas are improving our knowledge of cancer formation, human ageing and radiation protection.
Dr. Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease and is both the Education Lead and Microscopy Lead for the University of Calgary’s Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. He obtained his PhD from University of Calgary in 2005 and trained as a post doctoral scholar at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex (UK) until 2010. In 2011, he opened his own laboratory at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. In 2015, he was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 for achievements in science and education and, in 2016, was named a "Peak Scholar" by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon for his efforts in knowledge engagement in the area of the health impact of radon gas inhalation.