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DNA Damage and Repair: Computations Meet Experiments
DNA is constantly exposed to external sources of stress that can lead to the appearance of lesions and damage. Elucidating the mechanisms leading to DNA damage, both related to ground state or excited state chemistry, is then of paramount importance for understanding the molecular basis of a wide range of diseases such as cancer or neurodegenerative disorders, as well as the ageing phenomena. On the other hand, to achieve a full comprehension of the phenomenon one should consider the influence of DNA damage on the DNA structure and dynamics, as well as its effect on the mechanisms of DNA repair. Indeed, the toxicity of a lesion is strongly related to the balance between its frequency and its repair rate. Hence, the interaction of DNA with protein, in the presence and absence of lesions, is fundamental. Furthermore, the presence of complex DNA lesions, such as cluster or tandem lesions and strand breaks characterized by very low repair rate, should be understood.
In this workshop, we aim to bring together computational chemists and experimentalists working on different subjects related to DNA structure, replication, damage and repair.
Our goal is to allow a fruitful exchange between different communities from biology to theoretical chemistry that will pave the way to a proper strategy to achieve a detailed comprehension of DNA mechanisms, and hence also to rationally design novel drugs or identify protecting strategies. The workshop will be a fundamental step in the community building process and as such will also be strongly committed to favor participation of young researchers and students, in order to let them acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and a common scientific culture. New fundamental collaborative networks will be delineated as an outcome of the workshop, and the community will become stronger by enhancing interdisciplinarity.