Associate Professor Focuses on Pathways Employed by Living Cells to Repair DNA Breaks

Anna Malkova, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, School of Science at IUPUI 
Genetics/Mechanisms of DNA Repair and Recombination

An authority in genomic instability, Dr. Anna Malkova's research focuses on pathways employed by living cells to repair double-strand DNA breaks. Abnormal repairs are believed to promote cancer in humans. 

Malkova came to the United States from St. Petersburg, Russia in 1993. She spent nearly a decade as a post-doctoral fellow at Brandeis University. During that time, Dr. Malkova uncovered Break-Induced Replication (BIR), a pathway to repair DNA lesions.

Today, her research focuses on Break-Induced Replication. It has been suggested that some tumor cells use BIR to stabilize their chromosomal ends, leading to immortalization. Break-Induced Replication is implicated in formation of chromosomal rearrangements that affect genes involved in cell cycle regulation, leading to cancer.

Anna Malkova's lab is comprised of two Ph.D. students, one Master degree student, one post-doctoral fellow, one technician, three undergraduate research assistants, and five freshmen students who are planning to continue their research in Dr. Malkova's lab.

Brandon Downing, an alumnus starting his second year in Indiana University's M.D./Ph.D. program, attributes his decision to pursue a career in pediatric oncology to Malkova's mentorship. According to Downing, "In Dr. Malkova's lab the research I completed had direct medical relevance. Her infectious enthusiasm motivated me to continue this type of work."

Malkova's support of undergraduate research earned her lab several external grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a five-year award of more than $1.3 million. Since it opened in 2003, Malkova's lab has received over $1,762,000 in external funding support.

Learn more about Dr. Malkova's research.