We have been studying epigenetics since the 1970's. In collaboration with Charles Gehrke, we published the first study demonstrating that there are tissue-specific differences in the levels of DNA methylation in humans Amount and distribution of 5-methylcytosine in human DNA from different types of tissues of cells. (1982). Our lab and, independently, the lab of Bert Vogelstein reported in 1983 that there are abnormalities in DNA methylation in human cancers (1983). Later, we discovered the very frequent hypomethylation of highly repeated DNA sequences in human cancers Hypomethylation of pericentromeric DNA in breast adenocarcinomas. (1998). Our findings on cancer-associated DNA hypomethylation have been confirmed by numerous laboratories. In our research, we have emphasized the importance of the often overlooked hemimethylation of DNA in normal differentiation and carcinogenesis Hemimethylation footprints of DNA demethylation in cancer. Modeling dependence in methylation patterns with application to ovarian carcinomas. and the ability of some moderately methylated sequences to become either hypermethylated or hypomethylated in cancer Epigenetics of a tandem DNA repeat: chromatin DNaseI sensitivity and opposite methylation changes in cancers. (2008), Both hypomethylation and hypermethylation in a 0.2-kb region of a DNA repeat in cancer. (2005), A DNA repeat, NBL2, is hypermethylated in some cancers but hypomethylated in others. (2005). We are also interested in the interactions of methylated DNA and proteins, including, the first report of a vertebrate DNA-binding protein with specificity for DNA methylation A protein from human placental nuclei binds preferentially to 5-methylcytosine-rich DNA. (1984). Recently, our focus has been on the relationships between differentiation- and disease-related gene expression Gene expression during normal and FSHD myogenesis. (2011) and epigenetics (journal manuscripts in preparation and a book chapter in press). In addition, we are involved in a collaborative study with Garth Rauscher on the relationship between DNA methylation marks in breast cancer and racial disparities in disease outcome.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 email@example.com