Research in the Hvastkovs group is centered on the development of electrochemical sensors to detect biologically relevant events. At present, we are interested in elucidating and detecting genetic abnormalities that can lead to cancer. In one project, we are concerned with detecting DNA damage on a gene sequence specific level using an electrochemical platform. We do this through the formation of DNA modified electrodes and the use of a redox active reporter molecule that binds to DNA in a specific manner based on its helical structure. A second project aims at detecting hypermethylated gene segments that can be indicative of silencing or "switching off" that particular gene, which has been shown to be an initial step in the formation of a cancerous cell.