Locus specific manipulatin of chromatin function

Project: Research project

Project Details


The project will investigate the basic mechanism of cell type-specific gene regulation in human cells. By developing and applying cutting edge tools, the study will enable locus-specific manipulation of gene expression and thereby gain a deeper understanding of the normal regulatory mechanisms and provide a framework for potential therapeutic interventions in a disease state. In addition to the research goals, the project will also establish educational outreach activities to attract young generations to science through summer research opportunities and seminar series for local high school students as well as undergraduate students. Regulation of gene expression is tightly linked to mechanisms that package DNA inside the nucleus. DNA is wrapped around histone proteins to form chromatin fiber. Small chemical modifications on histone proteins or DNA, which are called epigenetic modifications, are associated with gene activation or repression. Notably, aberrant epigenetic regulation is increasingly recognized as a hallmark of various diseases including cancer. Understanding the molecular details of how epigenetic modifications regulate gene expression has immediate implications to better understand normal development and therapeutically interfere with malignant development. However, due to technical limitations, the causal relationship between the presence of an epigenetic mark and gene function in the chromatin is not proven. The project will utilize cutting edge tools to deposit specific epigenetic marks at the target genomic site to study their functional roles over time. By precisely manipulating temporal and spatial locus-specific epigenetic marks, the project will address fundamental questions regarding the causality of epigenetic information and the epigenetic mechanism of gene regulation.
Effective start/end date1/1/207/31/21


  • National Science Foundation (MCB-2024073)


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