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Medicine & Science
A Visit with Dr. Istvan Boldogh
by Jim Guidry
Monday, July 09, 2012

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
professor Istvan Boldogh, senior author of a paper on repair of DNA which is now online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, visited with Guidry News Service about what he describes as a “surprising connection” between a key DNA-repair process and a cellular signaling network linked to aging, heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. Listen

Dr. Boldogh said that his interest in DNA research  extends back many years.

“I need to tell you that I met Watson,” he said, recalling the day in 1980 that he visited the home of Dr. James Watson, one of the two co-discoverers of the structure of DNA.  “It was a big home, but simple, very friendly and he was really nice.”

He said that DNA research has been a major factor in his career.

“I kept interested in DNA,” he said.  “I am focusing on mitochondrial DNA and genome DNA.”

He said that his study involves the biology of the cell and how it proliferates and responds to stimuli, especially stress.  He said his research has shown that stimuli, “even good stimuli”, induces oxidative stress “and oxidative stress induces oxidative DNA damage.”

By way of an example, Dr. Boldogh, used an experience in the laboratory.

“Like, I have a lot of stress when the experiment doesn’t work,” he said.  “I know now that the stress induces 8-oxoguanine, induces oxidation of DNA in my brain.”

In the interview, he relates in detail how all of the chemicals interact to cause stress and to damage DNA.

“This is the point when it gets complicated,” he understated.

However, even to a layman, Dr. Boldogh’s message is simple.

“We age and we acquire aging-related diseases,”  Boldogh said.  “This is all linked to inflammation.”

He said his research is his passion.

“What keeps me going is I want to know what I am doing and I want to solve that basic issue in life, to solve this chronic inflammatory state which makes us old, which induces cancer and induces all kinds of diseases, including lung diseases, cardio-vascular diseases,” he said, expressing hope that the solution will come with improved ability to repair DNA.  “if we can modulate the cascade of events which are triggered by the 8-oxoguanine glycosylase complex we can medically terminate inflammation and extend the health span - health span.  I don’t want to live 140 years, but if I live healthy until 80 or 85, do we need more?”   

For the news release on Dr. Boldogh’s research Click Here

Remembering Jim Guidry GRCC Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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