Nancy Horton, PhD

Cancer Biology Program

Biography

Professor Horton grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois and attended Southern Illinois University (B.S. Chemistry with Biology minor, 1987) and the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, Chemistry, 1994). She joined The Upjohn Company and was involved in structure based drug design for several years before rejoining academia at the University of California, Santa Barbara to study structure-function relationships in endonucleases. Prof. Horton began her independent lab in 2001 at the University of Arizona and uses structural and biophysical methods, as well as biochemistry and molecular biology, to study proteins that interact with nucleic acids, as well as a newly discovered enzyme mechanism involving filament formation.

Cancer Focus

DNA repair is fundamental to maintaining proper cellular function. Important proteins and enzymes in this process must recognize damaged DNA and perform enzymological modifications to repair the DNA to its undamaged state. Viral proteins are also responsible for DNA damage, and also interfere with signaling pathways and other cellular functions controlling cell growth. We study proteins and enzymes from viruses that damage DNA, as well as the anti-viral systems cells use to protect from viral assault.