Our main challenges are related to nutritional influences on DNA repair.
In a few studies, we have demonstrated effects of supplementation with phytochemicals on DNA repair, but we lack information on the specificity of the effects (which phytochemicals are responsible?), and on the mechanism (via gene expression, or protein stabilisation, or enzyme activation?).
It is important to validate the comet assay (high throughput version) for use in human biomonitoring, as well as for inclusion in a battery of tests for genotoxicity.
White blood cells are most often used in biomonitoring; access to other cell types is a challenge. In collaboration with Ullevål sykehus (see below) we are investigating DNA damage in cells from the eye, relevant to cataract formation, and the stability of corneal tissue awaiting transplantation. Objectives include comparing damage in eye tissue and lymphocytes from the same patient, measuring DNA repair capacity, and comparing damage levels in patients and healthy controls.