DNA contains the genetic information that underlies the development and biological functioning of all living organisms. Structurally, DNA is composed of complementary pairs of long nucleic acid strands. However, for organisms with cells that contain a nucleus, from budding yeast to humans, DNA does not exist free in solution, but is instead packaged into a complex structure known as chromatin. The structure of chromatin, and how it changes, plays a central role in how the associated DNA is utilized. My group is focused on achieving a better understanding of chromatin structure, how it is altered, and the functional ramifications of these changes. This knowledge provides a better understanding of how the information contained in DNA is read, propagated, and maintained in normally functioning cells, and offers insight into the way defects in chromatin structure and function lead to human diseases.
Area of Expertise:
Role and establishment of histone modifications
B.S., Chemistry, Stanford Univ., 1994
Ph.D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Francisco, 2000-2001
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachussetts, 2001-2005