The Center for Epigenetics Hosts Symposium: Organization and Function of the Epigenome
Genome function appears to be governed by its architecture, including chromatin compaction, looping, long- and short-range chromosomal interactions, as well as interactions with sub-compartments such as the nuclear periphery. This symposium will feature recent advances from the Center, as well as seminal new work from a distinguished group of outside scientists including Rolf Ohlsson (Karolinska Institute), Victor Corces (Emory), Bing Ren (UCSD), and Eric Nestler (Mt. Sinai).
Andy Feinberg Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award
Andy Feinberg has been awarded an NIH Director's Pioneer Award in the amount of $2.5M over the next five years. From the article: “The NIH Director’s Award programs reinvigorate the biomedical workforce by providing unique opportunities to conduct research that is neither incremental nor conventional,” says James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, who guides the Common Fund’s High-Risk Research program. “The awards (this year totaling $143.8 million) are intended to catalyze giant leaps forward for any area of biomedical research, allowing investigators to go in entirely new directions.”
Sean Taverna Receives Mentor of the Year Award
Dr. Sean Taverna was recently awarded the 2011 Mentor of the Year award from the JHU Graduate Student Association. He addressed the student body June 20th with a talk Memories of Mentors and Methylation.
Genetic Dark Matter
Feinberg, a genetics researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, looked to the left and saw Newton’s grave. Just above Newton is a plaque honoring physicist Paul Dirac, a pioneer of quantum theory. Inherent in quantum theory is the idea of uncertainty in the interaction of subatomic particles.
Scientists Map Epigenetic Changes During Blood Cell Differentiation
Having charted the occurrence of a common chemical change that takes place while stem cells decide their fates and progress from precursor to progeny, a Johns Hopkins-led team of scientists has produced the first-ever epigenetic landscape map for tissue differentiation.
Understanding how the information in the human genome is utilized is one of the central questions in modern biology. It has become clear that a critical level of gene regulation occurs through the chemical modification of both the DNA itself and the proteins that organize eukaryotic DNA into chromatin. This form of gene regulation, termed epigenetics, refers to cellular "memory" other than the DNA sequence alone, and occurs through mechanisms such as the addition of methyl groups to DNA, as a way of marking specific genes as active or silent. The Center for Epigenetics has brought together investigators in genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, and clinical medicine to develop new technologies to apply to both basic science and population-based epigenetic studies. The center has developed several new genomics, biostatistical, and biochemical methods and is applying them to cutting-edge studies of epigenetic mechanisms and disease research.