Epigenetics

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
  • Adli, Mazhar

    Identify and target key genomic and epigenomic drivers in cancer

  • Auble, David T.

    Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Regulation

  • Bekiranov, Stefan

    Physical Modeling of Microarray Hybridization; Analysis of Genomic Tiling Array Data; Bioinformatics; Computational Biology; Regulatory Networks

  • Bender, Timothy P.

    Regulation of gene expression during lymphocyte development

  • Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    Epigenetic Silencing Mechanisms-Implications in Breast Cancer and Rett Syndrome

  • Bochkis, Irina

    Epigenetic and genetic mechanisms underlying metabolic disease

  • Civelek, Mete

    Systems Genetics Approaches to Understand Cardiometabolic Traits

  • Cliffe, Anna

    Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons

  • Connelly, Jessica J.

    Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease

  • Dutta, Anindya

    Genomic Instability in Cancer Cells; Noncoding RNAs in differentiation and cancer

  • Felder, Robin A.

    Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. Medical Automation Research. Neurotransmitters, cell surface receptors and intracellular second messengers.

  • 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

  • Grant, Patrick A.

    Transcription; Chromatin Modifications, Neurodegenerative Disease, Cancer

  • Guertin, Michael

    Transcription, Chromatin, Cancer, Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology

  • Harris, Thurl E

    Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.

  • Hockensmith, Joel W.

    Novel antiprotozoan and anticancer compounds from antibiotic-resistant bacteria

  • Jiang, Hao

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

  • Kester, Mark

    Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery

  • Kipnis, Jonathan

    Neuroimmunology and glia biology in cognition, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration

  • Li, Hui

    Gene regulation in cancer, RNA processing; Epigenetic modification; Stem cell and development

  • Lynch, Wendy J.

    Behavioral Pharmacology, Sex Differences, Animal Models of Addiction

  • Mayo, Marty W.

    Transcriptional Regulation by NFKB

  • McConnell, Michael J

    The Cause and Consequence of Somatic Mosaicism in Neurons

  • Miller, Clint L.

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

  • Mohi, Golam

    Cell signaling, hematopoietic stem cell biology, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of leukemia.

  • Owens, Gary K.

    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

  • Park, Kwon-Sik

    Mechanisms of organ development and homeostasis and tumor development

  • Pemberton, Lucy F.

    Nuclear Transport in Chromatin Assembly and Transcriptional Regulation

  • Rekosh, David M.

    Human Immunodeficiency; Virus Gene Expression

  • Rich, Stephen S.

    Genetic basis of common human disease, including type 1 diabetes, diabetic complications, ischemic stroke, atherosclerosis

  • Scott, Michael M.

    Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food intake, impulsivity and novelty seeking behavior

  • Sheffield, Nathan

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

  • Singh, Jogender Tushir

    Tailored fit targeting approaches: Cancer Immunotherapy, Antibodies and conjugates

  • Smith, Jeffrey S.

    Transcriptional Silencing and Aging in Yeast

  • Smith, M. Mitchell

    Functional Genomics of Histones, Chromatin, and Protein Acetylation Signaling in Cancer and the Cell Cycle

  • Stukenberg, P. Todd

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

  • Wotton, David

    Regulation of Gene Expression, Development and Tumor Progression by TGF beta Signaling

  • Zang, Chongzhi

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