Owen Smith Graduate Student in Chemical and Systems Biology
I am interested in understanding the balance between genetic and epigenetic influences in the regulation of genome structure and activity. I am currently studying how DNA sequence influences the formation of centromeres as well as how noncoding RNAs interact with chromosomes to regulate them.
Kelsey Fryer Graduate Student in Genetics
I’m working on understanding how noncoding RNAs regulate the organization of chromosomes. I have been examining how repeat regions of eukaryotic genomes are transcribed and how the transcripts from these domains regulate the epigenetic state of the chromatin.
Kousik Sundararajan Post-doctoral Fellow
I’m interested in understanding the biochemical mechanisms that control centromere assembly. I am using a combination of in vitro reconstitution, single molecule imaging and live cell analysis to understand how centromeric chromatin is assembled specifically at the centromere in G1.
Bradley French Post-doctoral Fellow
I'm interested in how the epigenetic identity of centromeric chromatin is maintained through successive cell divisions. I use a combination of biochemical and cell biological tools -- including cell-free reconstitution of centromere assembly in Xenopus egg extract -- to study how the assembly of CENtromere Protein A (CENP-A) is carried out with spatial and temporal specificity.
Shengya Cao Graduate Student in Biochemistry
The centromere is a unique region on the chromosome that specifies the site of microtubule attachment and thus regulates chromosome segregation. This region is specified epigenetically by the presence of CenpA, a histone H3 variant. So far, two centromere proteins have been shown to directly interact with CenpA: CenpC and CenpN. I am interested in how CenpN regulates CenpA incorporation into centromeric chromatin and centromere formation
Julio Cesar Flores-Servin
Julio Cesar Flores-Servin Graduate Student in Biology
Chromatin based epigenetic information can be stably inherited through generations yet we have a poor understanding of how that information is encoded, replicated and maintained in cells. I am using the centromere as a model for studying epigenetic inheritance to understand how chromatin distributed during DNA replication is regenerated in each cell cycle.
Postdoctoral Associate Rene Ladurner
Each cycle of DNA replication duplicates the genome but also distributes chromatin proteins between newly duplicated daugter DNA strands. In order to maintain epigenetic information in chromatin the cell must regenerate chromatin states in each cell cycle. I am studying the coupling between DNA replication and chromatin maintenance to understand the mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance.