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Epigenetics

About

normal vs diseased cellResearch 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.

Faculty

  • Bekiranov, Stefan

    Computational Biology; Bioinformatics; Precision Medicine; Machine Learning/AI; Quantum Computing

  • Bushweller, John H.

    Drug Development Targeting Transcription Drivers in Cancer; Structure/Function Studies of Transcription Factor Drivers in Cancer

  • Cliffe, Anna

    Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons

  • Connelly, Jessica J.

    Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease

  • Garrett-Bakelman, Francine

    Acute Myeloid Leukemia: molecular and cellular biology events which mediate aberrant epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms during disease establishment and progression

  • Goldfarb, Adam N.

    Hematopathology and Understanding the Molecular Basis of Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis

  • Guo, Lian-Wang

    Vascular wall remodeling, intimal hyperplasia, stenosis, aneurysm, retinal degeneration.

  • Harris, Thurl E

    Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.

  • Jiang, Hao

    Regulation of stem cell function and tumorigenesis by epigenetics and biomolecular condensation (phase separation)

  • Liu, Wenpeng

    Genetic and Epigenetic stability in human cancer

  • Loughran, Jr., Thomas P

    Hematologic malignancies; bone marrow disorders; leukemia; large granular lymphocyte (LGL)

  • Lynch, Wendy J.

    Behavioral Pharmacology, Sex Differences, Animal Models of Addiction

  • Mayo, Marty W.

    Transcriptional Regulation by NFKB

  • Miller, Clint L.

    Genetic variation, Complex diseases, Coronary artery disease, Genomics, Epigenomics, Regulatory mechanisms, Vascular biology, Pharmacology and Physiology

  • Mohi, Golam

    Cell signaling, stem cell biology, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of blood and breast cancers

  • Pemberton, Lucy F.

    Director of Graduate Studies for Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology

  • Rekosh, David M.

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus Gene Expression; Human Endogenous Viruses; SARS-CoV-2 Protein Trafficking; Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation

  • Sheffield, Nathan

    computational biology & bioinformatics; high performance computing; epigenomics & chromatin; pediatric cancer; computational regulatory genomics; machine learning

  • Smith, Jeffrey S.

    Transcriptional Silencing and Aging in Yeast

  • Stukenberg, P. Todd

    Mechanisms of chromosome segregation in Mitosis and generation of Chromosomal Instability in tumors

  • Tao, Jianguo

    Pathology

  • Trinh, Bon Q

    Understanding Protein and RNA regulations of gene expression via chromatin structure in myeloid cell development and diseases

  • Wang, Yuh-Hwa

    Genome instability in cancer and repeat expansion diseases

  • Zang, Chongzhi

    Bioinformatics methodology development; Epigenetics and chromatin biology; Transcriptional regulation; Cancer genomics and epigenomics; Statistical methods for biomedical data integration; Advanced machine learning; Theoretical and computational biophysic