Normal and malignant stem cells: Our lab is interested in investigating the role of chromatin regulators in benign and malignant hematopoiesis. Several attributes of normal stem cells such as the ability to self-renew are co-opted or reactivated by cancer cells on their way to malignant transformation. We are interested in characterizing the molecular determinants of “stemness” using hematopoietic stem cells as a model and in identifying ways and means by which these stem-cell associated pathways are usurped for oncogenesis.
The cancer epigenome: Abnormal epigenetic changes have emerged as important mediators of oncogenesis. Genomic investigations of human cancer have uncovered mutations in writers, erasers and readers of the histone code. The goal of our laboratory is to connect basic mechanisms of chromatin regulation to diseased states with a focus on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Ultimately, we are interested in the rational design of screens to develop therapeutics targeting dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in hematological malignancies.