University of Pennsylvania Health System

Focus on Cancer

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Art Installation Illustrates DNA Repair and Celebrates Hope for Patients and Families Carrying BRCA Mutations

Penn Medicine’s Basser Research Center for BRCA recently unveiled a sculpture that symbolizes the hope that the Basser Center brings to individuals and families affected by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.


Created in a ribbon-diagram formation, the sculpture illustrates how a healthy cell repairs DNA that causes breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. It is an accurate depiction of the part of the BRCA2 gene responsible for DNA repair. The repair occurs in three stages, as illustrated by a light show within portions of the piece. Weighing more than 500 pounds, the sculpture has 600 LED lights and is suspended from a ring weighing nearly 400 pounds.


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