Abrams Lab applies high throughput genetic approaches to explore two biomedical themes. One organizing theme explores the p53 regulatory network, which is deranged in most human cancers. Despite extensive characterization, precisely how p53 acts to suppress tumors remains poorly understood. We built innovative tools to interrogate the p53 function in Drosophila, zebrafish, and mouse models, and, using these, we discovered that p53 tonically acts to suppress transposons. Current projects are directed toward understanding how p53 functions to restrain mobile elements and test the clinical utility of this 'transposopathy' model. A second and related research program examines gene-directed programs that specify programmed and unprogrammed cell death.