How does a normal cell suddenly embark on a journey towards cancer? Acquisition of mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressors is thought to be necessary for transformation. Improper maintenance of genome integrity as cells grow and duplicate their DNA can lead to mutations and chromosomal rearrangements seen in tumors. Proper DNA damage response and repair is particularly important in stem cells which are a small pool of long-lived cells that replenish tissue throughout life. Dr. Batada’s laboratory uses cutting edge genomic tools to elucidate the causes of genome instability in the context of cellular reprogramming and characterize the similarities between stem cells and cancer biology.