Personal profile

Research interests

DNA methylation changes are found in many human diseases and in cancer. Further neuronal-specific DNA methylation changes are critical for proper brain development and mutations in the genes that regulate methylation are frequently associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. My lab seeks to understand the epigenetic basis of human disease and cancer through the application and development of new experimental and computational genomic analysis methods. We have previously embarked on a variety of projects and collaborations to use genome-wide methylation profiling to uncover the disease relevance of DNA methylation changes. These projects have yielded insights into the regulatory roles for methylation in AML cells treated with DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, in endocrine-therapy resistant breast cancer, in modulating OGT-mediated transposon repression, and in the role of 5-hydroxymethylation in gene regulation in neurons. We also recently developed a new bioinformatic approach for deconvolving DNA methylation data from a heterogeneous tissue to study epigenetic subclones in lymphoma. Ongoing projects in the lab primarily focus on the areas below:

Computational Epigenetics
We have a particular interest in developing and applying advanced methods from machine learning and data science to unravel the functional consequences of DNA methylation changes in human disease and cancer.

Epigenomic Technology Development
We are developing novel nanopore sequencing based approaches for genome-wide epigenetic analysis and integrative multi-omic single-cell approaches to understand the role of DNA methylation and 5-hydroxymethylation in the developing brain.

Role of Methylation Changes in Cancer
We are applying novel epigenome editing approaches in conjunction with high-throughput reporter assays to reveal the functional role of DNA methylation variants in cancer. Our long-term goal is to inform our computational models to develop software to predict and interpret the functional effects of DNA methylation changes in clinical sequencing data. 

Available to Mentor:

  • PhD/MSTP Students


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