Research Interests

The genome of every eukaryotic cell resides in complex with histone proteins to form chromatin. Though originally thought to just package the genome into the nucleus, chromatin structure is now recognized to play an active role in the regulation of all DNA templated processes in eukaryotes. Such regulation requires the spatial and temporal alteration of chromatin structure, which is mediated by the chemical modification of histones and DNA as well as by the action of a large number of chromatin associated cofactors. My lab is interested in deciphering mechanisms of chromatin structure modulation and how misregulation of these pathways is associated with disease. Specifically, our goal is to elucidate, on the molecular level, the details of how cofactors target nucleosomes, especially in response to histone modification, and how this leads to the regulation of genes. Such knowledge will enhance our fundamental understanding of chromatin biology as well as reveal the etiology of many human diseases with the aim of eventually aiding in the development of targeted therapeutics. We employ NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography as well as a variety of other biophysical and biochemical techniques to approach these questions.