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Research group

Genome Stability and Tumourigenesis


Thanos Halazonetis – Université de Genève



Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 722729.

Florian Groelly

DPhil student


Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are found in familial and sporadic cancers. BRCA1/2 play key role in DNA damage response (DDR) by promoting homologous recombination (HR) and protecting stalled replication forks. My research projects aim to identify causes of DNA damage in cells lacking BRCA1/2 and to understand their consequences. Indeed, S phase DNA damage can be carried over and transmitted to daughter cells. As an example, we recently showed that BRCA2 loss causes micronuclei formation and activates a type I immune response (Reisländer et al., 2019). A current aspect of my research is to understand how BRCA2 protects from mitotic DNA breaks, and thus prevents micronuclei formation in healthy tissues. Ultimately, this would bring a better understanding of the role of BRCA1/2 and inform on new biomarkers or treatment strategies.

Roles of BRCA1 and BRCA2 on stalled replication forks. © F. Groelly
Roles of BRCA1 and BRCA2 on stalled replication forks.

teaching and outreach

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in teaching or outreach whilst studying in Oxford. Even occasional volunteering to engage in outreach activities is gratifying and enriching. On a more regular basis, I am happy support and work closely to a MRes student in our lab. Yanti De Visser's exciting project focuses on immune response activation upon targeting of G-quadruplexes.


Reisländer, T., Lombardi, E.P.#, Groelly, F.J.# et al. BRCA2 abrogation triggers innate immune responses potentiated by treatment with PARP inhibitors. Nat Commun 10, 3143 (2019).


Oncology student network

As student representative, and together with Ashwin Nandakumar, we provide feedback and suggestions to the Graduate Studies and the Athena SWAN committees, in order to improve the course program and promote equality at workplace and in career progression. We also organize scientific and social events:

- Lunchtime Seminar&Pizza
- Pub or BBQ gatherings
- Career chats and events