University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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Current Students

Matthew Jarvis

Thesis Advisor: Reuben Harris

Year entered: 2016

Degrees received:
B.S., University of Minnesota, Morris, 2013

Honors and awards:

  • NIH T 32 Cancer Biology Training Grant, May 2017

Thesis Research:

The APOBEC3 subfamily of cytosine deaminase enzymes is a powerful source of mutagenic capacity in the human body. While these enzymes help to restrict foreign, invasive nucleic acids (i.e., viral genomes during an infection), they can also act as a major source of endogenous damage in the human genome. Much of this damage  can be corrected by cellular repair machinery, yet a subset persist and are  embedded as mutations that can result in cancer. My work in Dr. Reuben Harris’s  lab aims to identify the distinct signatures that make up the diverse mutational profile responsible for cancer initiation and progression. This process is carried out using a diverse toolbox of both bioinformatic and benchwork experimental techniques to interrogate the role of APOBEC3 members in a variety of cancers.
Through the definition and resolution of these signatures, we can begin to understand the regulation and specificity of endogenous and exogenous mutagenic agents that often synergize to promote disease, with the ultimate goal of predicting cancer patient response to therapeutic intervention based on underlying existing mutations.