Dr. John Nitiss is a Professor in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and Assistant Dean of Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research is focused on anti-cancer drugs that target DNA opoisomerases mechanisms of cell killing and repair of topoisomerase mediated damage. His laboratory uses a combination of genetic and biochemical tools to understand the action of anti-cancer agents. Their hallmark approach has been to use yeast as a model system to precisely define the pathways responsible for cell killing and drug resistance, and to apply insights obtained with yeast to in vitro biochemical systems and to mammalian cells.A major shortcoming in the study of small molecules in yeast has been the poor drug accumulation that is now understood to arise mainly from the expression of many drug efflux proteins. While drug transporters have been identified and studied in many laboratories, they have been pioneers in developing a variety of approaches to increase accumulation of drugs in yeast. They continue to study how anti-cancer drugs interact with prokaryotic and eukaryotic topoisomerases. Their approaches have allowed them to identify topoisomerase mutants that have elevated sensitivity to various classes of agents targeting topoisomerases.His research is focused on anti-cancer drugs that target DNA opoisomerases mechanisms of cell killing and repair of topoisomerase mediated damage.