Jun Xia is a postdoctoral associate at Baylor College of Medicine, studying endogenous DNA damage, which occurs seemingly organically in DNA.
Xia and his colleagues found a network of genes and proteins that could cause DNA damage in E.coli, a model bacterium. They also found homologs of the same molecules in humans. Identifying these molecules also means that scientists might be able to use them to detect cancer risk before an individual develops disease. Xia is now using mouse models to test that idea.