Memorial Hospital Research Laboratories

The Daniel Higginson Lab


Pictured: Daniel Higginson
Daniel S. Higginson, MD
Radiation Oncologist

The Higginson lab focuses on alternative DNA double strand break repair pathways that become particularly important in tumors deficient in homologous recombination (e.g. BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutant tumors) and in tumors relatively deficient in non-homologous end-joining (e.g. HPV-associated tumors). These alternative pathways include alternative end-joining and single strand annealing. We employ advanced genome editing approaches to measure the full spectrum of repair events at a double strand break to quantify the use of both standard and alternative repair pathways. This approach allows for study of pathway tradeoffs that occur in the context of cancer-specific genetic alterations or when DNA damage response inhibitors (DDRi) are used. We seek to understand these pathways better in order to improve the therapeutic response to radiation and other DNA-damaging agents by finding rational combinations of DDRi to use in combination with radiation and matched to tumor-specific repair deficiencies.

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Daniel Higginson Lab



Pictured: Daniel Higginson

Daniel S. Higginson, MD

Radiation Oncologist

  • Physician-scientist Daniel Higginson studies a double-strand break repair pathway known as microhomology-mediated end joining, with the overall goal of improving the understanding of radiation treatment and providing insight into therapies for cancers deficient in homologous recombination.
  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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Rama Damerla, PhD
Rama Damerla

Research Associate

Suleman Hussain
Suleman Hussain

Research Fellow

Yi Li, Visiting Investigator
Yi Li

Visiting Investigator

Himanshi Mishra
Himanshi Mishra

Research Fellow

Pavithran Ravindran
Pavithran Ravindran

Undergraduate Researcher

Lab Affiliations

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Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

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Daniel S. Higginson discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

  • SQZ Biotechnologies Company
    Provision of Services (uncompensated)

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