Dr. Aziz Sancar, just won the Nobel Prize for chemistry today, along with two other scientists,Dr.Tomas Lindahl from the Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory, and Dr. Paul Modrich, from Duke University. All study different mechanisms of DNA repair. The coolest thing is that my micro class just studied all three repair mechanisms. One of the things Dr. Sancar stated in the news conference at UNC, that an understanding of how DNA gets mutated, and how the cell fixes these mutations, is integral in understanding the foundations of cancer, as well as the establishing an understanding of a treatment for cancer.
Dr. Sancar studies the mechanism behind UV (sunlight damage) called thymine dimer repair, called excision repair (link to Youtube animation).
Dr. Modrich studies the mechanism behind mismatch repair (link to Youtube animation)
Dr. Lindahl studies the mechanisms of repair behind oxidative damage, called base excision repair.