Ales Vancura

Chairperson and Professor
Biological Sciences
Ph.D.

Laboratory of Epigenetics

Research Overview
The work in our laboratory is in the area of epigenetics and focuses on the relationship between chromatin structure/transcription and signaling/metabolism. Our long-term goal is to understand how intermediary metabolism affects histone acetylation and transcriptional regulation. Histone acetylation is a dynamic modification that affects chromatin structure and regulates diverse cellular functions, such as gene expression, DNA repair, and cell proliferation. Histone acetylation depends on intermediary metabolism for supplying acetyl-CoA in the nucleocytosolic compartment. Perturbation of the balanced action of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) alters the expression pattern of genes involved in cellular growth, resulting in tumorigenesis. Our goal is to identify novel epigenetic targets and strategies for cancer therapy. Our work utilizes yeast and mammalian cell cultures and techniques of molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and genetics.

The work in this Laboratory has been significantly enhanced by the diligent and creative work of our students, who after graduating assumed positions at premier institutions (Rockefeller University, Harvard Medical School, Brown University, New York University, and the National Institutes of Health).

Lab Members
Dr. Luciano Galdieri, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Tiantian Zhang, Ph.D. Student
Daniella Rogerson, Undergraduate Student
Rron Lleshni, Undergraduate Student