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Kathleen H. Burns

Kathleen is Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Chair of the Department of Oncologic Pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A physician-scientist, Kathleen’s research focuses on the roles that self-propagating retrotransposons play in human disease, challenging the assumption that these elements are nonfunctional “junk DNA.” Her lab was one of the first to develop strategies to map insertion sites of repetitive DNAs and transposable elements in the human genome, subsequently identifying transposon involvement in cancers and autoimmune diseases. She now studies the effect of LINE-1 expression on cancer, ultimately aiming to inform new treatment approaches.

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