Last Name

Rachel L. Flynn, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DepartmentPharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Address72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
Boston MA 02118
Phone(617) 638-4346
Other Positions
TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DivisionHematology & Medical Oncology

TitlePeter Paul Career Development Professorship
InstitutionBoston University

 Awards and Honors

2013Foster Foundation: Award for osteosarcoma research
2012NIH: K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award
2012NIH: Scholarship for Telomere Biology and DNA Repair Conference
2009-2012ACS: Individual Fellowship
2009NIH: F32 Individual Fellowship (declined for ACS)
2007-2009NIH: T32 Training Grant by the Department of Pathology under Dr. David Louis
2007University of Massachusetts Medical School: Graduate School of Biomedical Science Commencement Speaker
2003-PresSigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society of NA
 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
In the Laboratory of Genomic stability and Cancer Therapeutics we use a combination of biochemical and cell biological approaches to study the function of mammalian telomeres. Telomeres cap the ends of linear chromosomes and provide a molecular barrier for the human genome. Following each cell division, progressive telomere shortening erodes that barrier and compromises the stability of the genome. Critically short, or dysfunctional telomeres induce replicative senescence and/or cell death and ultimately, lead to cellular aging. Cancer cells, however, overcome the replicative senescence associated with critically short telomeres by exploiting mechanisms of telomere elongation. The focus of my lab is to understand the mechanisms regulating mammalian telomere maintenance and to understand how defects in this process contribute to premature aging and cancer progression. The hope is that these studies will allow us to gain the mechanistic insight necessary to define novel targets and/or strategies in the treatment of human disease.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Cox KE, Maréchal A, Flynn RL. SMARCAL1 Resolves Replication Stress at ALT Telomeres. Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 9; 14(5):1032-40. PMID: 26832416.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Flynn RL, Cox KE, Jeitany M, Wakimoto H, Bryll AR, Ganem NJ, Bersani F, Pineda JR, Suvà ML, Benes CH, Haber DA, Boussin FD, Zou L. Alternative lengthening of telomeres renders cancer cells hypersensitive to ATR inhibitors. Science. 2015 Jan 16; 347(6219):273-7. PMID: 25593184.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Flynn RL, Chang S, Zou L. RPA and POT1: friends or foes at telomeres? Cell Cycle. 2012 Feb 15; 11(4):652-7. PMID: 22373525.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Flynn RL, Centore RC, O'Sullivan RJ, Rai R, Tse A, Songyang Z, Chang S, Karlseder J, Zou L. TERRA and hnRNPA1 orchestrate an RPA-to-POT1 switch on telomeric single-stranded DNA. Nature. 2011 Mar 24; 471(7339):532-6. PMID: 21399625.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Flynn RL, Zou L. ATR: a master conductor of cellular responses to DNA replication stress. Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Mar; 36(3):133-40. PMID: 20947357.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Centore RC, Havens CG, Manning AL, Li JM, Flynn RL, Tse A, Jin J, Dyson NJ, Walter JC, Zou L. CRL4(Cdt2)-mediated destruction of the histone methyltransferase Set8 prevents premature chromatin compaction in S phase. Mol Cell. 2010 Oct 8; 40(1):22-33. PMID: 20932472.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Flynn RL, Zou L. Oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold proteins: a growing family of genome guardians. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Aug; 45(4):266-75. PMID: 20515430.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Xie J, Litman R, Wang S, Peng M, Guillemette S, Rooney T, Cantor SB. Targeting the FANCJ-BRCA1 interaction promotes a switch from recombination to poleta-dependent bypass. Oncogene. 2010 Apr 29; 29(17):2499-508. PMID: 20173781.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Litman R, Gupta R, Brosh RM Jr, Cantor SB. BRCA-FA pathway as a target for anti-tumor drugs. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2008; 8(4):426-30.
  10. Peng M, Litman R, Xie J, Sharma S, Brosh RM, Cantor SB. The FANCJ/MutLalpha interaction is required for correction of the cross-link response in FA-J cells. EMBO J. 2007 Jul 11; 26(13):3238-49. PMID: 17581638.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Peng, M., R. Litman, Z. Jin, G. Fong and S.B. Cantor. BACH1 is a DNA repair protein supporting BRCA1 damage response. Oncogene. 2006; 25:2245-53.
  12. Litman, R., M. Peng, Z. Jin, F. Zhang, J. Zhang, S. Powell, P.R. Andreassen, and S.B. Cantor. BACH1 is critical for homologous recombination and appears to be the Fanconi anemia gene product FANCJ. Cancer Cell. 2005; 8:255-265.
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