Philip Lawley, who was a chemist at the Chester Beatty Research Institute in the UK, has died, reports Nature. Lawley studied how mutagens and carcinogens bind to and affect DNA, and was among the first to link DNA damage to cancer. Lawley and Peter Brookes, his colleague at Chester Beatty, which is now the Institute of Cancer Research, reported that mustard gas forms adducts with guanine in DNA, and those adducts then affect DNA replication and cell division. Further, they found that how frequently polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bind to DNA increases their carcinogenic strength. "This discovery overturned the prevailing view that proteins were the critical cellular targets for carcinogens and it changed the course of cancer research," Nature says.
Philip Lawley Dies
Feb 02, 2012