DNA might get damaged for a variety of causes including UV light and ionization radiation as well as metabolic reasons. There are predominantly three DNA repair pathways in eukaryotic cells. Two of these are well described and the third, non homologous end joining(NHEJ) backup pathway, has been elucidated by Dr. Iliakis' lab. All the three pathways involve the trimeric protein MRN complex (that have the proteins MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1) that acts as a sensor for DNA damage and relocates to double strand breaks of DNA. Ku is a protein heterodimer that is involved in binding at the DNA damage site.
Aparna's study explored the time kinetics and dose dependence of MRE11& Ku70 interaction post irradiation. The second part of her work involved understanding the increased Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase 1 (PARP1) activity with Histone1 in the backup pathway.