Research in Epigenetics at UVA focuses on the study of heritable changes in phenotype and gene function that are not caused by direct alterations in DNA sequence. DNA in eukaryotic cells is packaged into chromatin by histone proteins. DNA-driven cellular processes such as gene expression require alteration of chromatin structure to access this packaged DNA. Epigenetic changes, including chromatin remodeling, histone exchange, or chemical modification of histone proteins, affect access to chromatin DNA. Modifications to the chromatin through processes such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation are being increasingly appreciated as key determinants of cellular phenotype. Epigenetic chromatin modification is also influenced by environmental factors and can be stably transmitted across generations.
Improved understanding of epigenetic processes is producing exciting advances in cancer detection and treatment. For example, epigenetic profiles can improve cancer detection, and new anti-cancer drugs target the chromatin modifying machinery.
The UVA epigenetics research groups utilize model organisms, mammalian cells and human-derived samples in their studies. A variety of experimental approaches, including biochemistry, genetics, genome-wide analysis and bioinformatics, and behavioral studies are being applied to study epigenetic mechanisms and changes associated with human disease.
Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Regulation
Physical Modeling of Microarray Hybridization; Analysis of Genomic Tiling Array Data; Bioinformatics; Computational Biology; Regulatory Networks
Regulation of gene expression during lymphocyte development
Epigenetic Silencing Mechanisms-Implications in Breast Cancer and Rett Syndrome
Epigenetic and genetic mechanisms underlying metabolic disease
Systems Genetics Approaches to Understand Cardiometabolic Traits
Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons
Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease
Genomic Instability in Cancer Cells; Noncoding RNAs in differentiation and cancer; Bioinformatics of cancer outcome
Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. Medical Automation Research. Neurotransmitters, cell surface receptors and intracellular second messengers.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia: molecular and cellular biology events which mediate aberrant epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms during disease establishment and progression
Hematopathology and Understanding the Molecular Basis of Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis
Transcription, Chromatin, Cancer, Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology
Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.
Novel antiprotozoan and anticancer compounds from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Regulation of stem cell function and tumorigenesis by epigenetics and biomolecular condensation (phase separation)
Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery
Neuroimmunology and glia biology in cognition, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration
Gene regulation in cancer, RNA processing; Epigenetic modification; Stem cell and development
Behavioral Pharmacology, Sex Differences, Animal Models of Addiction
Transcriptional Regulation by NFKB
Genetic variation, Complex diseases, Coronary artery disease, Genomics, Epigenomics, Regulatory mechanisms, Vascular biology, Pharmacology and Physiology
Cell signaling, hematopoietic stem cell biology, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of leukemia.
Identification of Factors and Mechanisms that Regulate the Stability of Late Stage Atherosclerotic Lesions and the Probability of Thromboembolic Events Including a Heart Attack or Stroke
Mechanisms of organ development and homeostasis and tumor development
Nuclear Transport in Chromatin Assembly and Transcriptional Regulation
Human Immunodeficiency; Virus Gene Expression
Genetic basis of common human disease, including type 1 diabetes, diabetic complications, ischemic stroke, atherosclerosis
Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food intake, impulsivity and novelty seeking behavior
computational biology & bioinformatics; high performance computing; epigenomics & chromatin; pediatric cancer; computational regulatory genomics; machine learning
Tailored fit targeting approaches: Cancer Immunotherapy, Antibodies and conjugates
Transcriptional Silencing and Aging in Yeast
Functional Genomics of Histones, Chromatin, and Protein Acetylation Signaling in Cancer and the Cell Cycle
Mechanisms of chromosome segregation in Mitosis and generation of Chromosomal Instability in tumors
Genome instability in cancer and repeat expansion diseases
Regulation of Gene Expression, Development and Tumor Progression by TGF beta Signaling
Bioinformatics methodology development; Epigenetics and chromatin biology; Transcriptional regulation; Cancer genomics and epigenomics; Statistical methods for biomedical data integration; Theoretical and computational biophysics