We wish to understand how genes are maintained repressed through prolonged time and countless cell divisions. We study the detailed molecular events that underlie the recruitment and regulation of chromatin-modifying complexes by their co‐factor proteins, DNA and RNAs.
Chromatin-modifying enzymatic complexes are required in order to maintain the repressed state of thousands of genes during cell proliferation and differentiation. By doing so, chromatin-modifying complexes keep genes "off" as long as their products are not needed. Dysregulation of chromatin-modifying complexes leads to the progression of diseases, including various types of cancer and congenital growth disorders.
We seek to understand, down to atomic resolution, how the function of chromatin-modifying complexes is modulated by their various binding partners in the nucleus and within chromatin. Our main focus is histone-modifying complexes that mark chromatin for gene repression, including polycomb repressive complexes and their associated factors. A strong focus of our research program is the regulation of chromatin-modifying complexes by the most immediate product of genes: RNA. Read more about our research here.