Dr. Besaratinia has a long-standing interest in research on the underlying causes of human cancer. His research focuses on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of carcinogenesis with a special emphasis on DNA damage and repair, mutagenesis, DNA methylation, and histone modifications. Utilizing a combination of classic molecular biology techniques and state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing-based technologies, including in-house developed/refined methodologies, Dr. Besaratinia’s laboratory is characterizing the genetic and epigenetic aberrancies that occur during the initiation and progression of human cancer. Of particular interest is the re-shaping of genome and epigenome in malignancies with modifiable risk factors (e.g., environment, diet, and lifestyle). To elucidate the interplay of genetics, epigenetics, and environment/lifestyle factors in the genesis and progression of human cancer, his group is investigating sunlight ultraviolet (UV) -associated melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and tobacco-related lung- and bladder cancers. These investigations are expected to identify functionally important genetic and epigenetic alterations − dependent on or independently of environment or lifestyle − that can determine cancer development. Increasing the mechanistic knowledge of cancer initiation and progression is critical to developing innovative strategies for prevention, early detection, treatment, and prognosis of this disease.