Kajal Biswas, Ph.D.

Kajal Biswas, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) are genes that produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA. People who inherit harmful variants in one of these genes have increased risk of developing certain cancers like breast and ovarian cancer. Sequencing-based genetic testing, used to identify if someone has inherited a harmful variant in BRCA1 or BRCA2, has now found thousands of variants that have not been previously associated with cancer. These variants are called variants of unknown significance (VUS). In our lab, we use a mouse embryonic stem cell-based functional assay and mouse models to determine the impact of VUS on gene function.

Areas of Expertise

1) breast cancer 2) DNA repair 3) variant analysis 4) recombineering 5) CRISPR 6) mouse models


Selected Key Publications

A computational model for classification of BRCA2 variants using mouse embryonic stem cell-based functional assays

Biswas K, Lipton GB, Stauffer S, Sullivan T, Cleveland L, Southon E, Reid S, Magidson V, Iversen ES Jr, Sharan SK.
NPJ Genom Med. 5(1): 52, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

BRE/BRCC45 regulates CDC25A stability by recruiting USP7 in response to DNA damage

Biswas K, Philip S, Yadav A, Martin BK, Burkett S, Singh V, Babbar A, North SL, Chang S, Sharan SK
Nat Commun. 9(1): 537, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Functional evaluation of BRCA2 variants mapping to the PALB2-binding and C-terminal DNA-binding domains using a mouse ES cell-based assay

Biswas K, Das R, Eggington JM, Qiao H, North SL, Stauffer S, Burkett SS, Martin BK, Southon E, Sizemore SC, Pruss D, Bowles KR, Roa BB, Hunter N, Tessarollo L, Wenstrup RJ, Byrd RA, Sharan SK.
Hum Mol Genet. 21(18): 3993-4006, 2012. [ Journal Article ]

A comprehensive functional characterization of BRCA2 variants associated with Fanconi anemia using mouse ES cell-based assay

Biswas K, Das R, Alter BP, Kuznetsov SG, Stauffer S, North SL, Burkett S, Brody LC, Meyer S, Byrd RA, Sharan SK.
Blood. 118(9): 2430-42, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Expression of human BRCA1 variants in mouse ES cells allows functional analysis of BRCA1 mutations

Chang S, Biswas K, Martin BK, Stauffer S, Sharan SK.
J Clin Invest. 119(10): 3160-71, 2009. [ Journal Article ]