Dr. Payton's research focuses on genomic analyses of cancer, including expression profiling, copy number and LOH analyses, epigenetic profiling, miRNA profiling, and exonic and whole genome sequencing of leukemia and pilocytic astrocytoma. She has been a co-leading investigator on several studies including 2 expression profiling studies of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), one a knock-in mouse model and the other a study of primary tumors. Both analyses incorporated novel approaches to subtracting cell- and maturation level-specific normal expression signatures from tumor data, which is crucially important in AML studies because the tumors resemble differentiation-arrested normal hematopoietic cells. In another study she co-led, Dr. Payton and colleagues developed a rigorous scoring, ranking, and validation system for the discovery of somatic structural DNA changes (copy number abnormalities, loss of heterozygosity) in AML tumors. Finally, in order to detect functional downstream effects of epigenetic regulation in cancer, she is using a novel method to perform unbiased genome-wide allele-specific expression analysis in pilocytic astrocytomas.
Molecular diagnostic testing, cancer genomics, hematologic malignancy, leukemia, lymphoma