DNA damage can trigger cell death or result in mutations that cause tumor development. Many pathways exist to repair damaged DNA and are often altered in cancers. While these defects potentially contribute to tumor progression, they may also result in cancer cell-specific vulnerabilities. The Krais laboratory focuses on the fundamental issues of DNA repair and how they relate to cancer initiation, progression, and therapy responses. The lab employs a variety of methodologies including state-of-the-art microscopy, next-generation sequencing, cell and mouse genome engineering, and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cancer models. Combined, these approaches provide valuable insights into the mechanics of the DNA damage response and can guide the development of new therapeutic approaches that target the DNA repair machinery in cancers.