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Lab Members

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Aimee Badeaux, Ph.D.
B.S., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D., Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Badeaux’s work involves defining critical 'windows of plasticity' where major activity-induced changes in the epigenetic landscape occur in the perinatal brain. This work is critical for defining the best window for epigenetic therapy to treat cognitive disorders such as X-linked mental retardation, and on a more basic level, will contribute to the understanding of mechanisms behind brain plasticity in learning and memory.

Andres Blanco, Ph.D.
B.A., Cornell University
Ph.D., Princeton University

Dr. Blanco iscurrently studying epigenetic control of cellular differentiation in myeloid lineage cancers  such as AML.  He is also interested in DNA damage and repair in tumorigenesis, with a current focus on mechanisms of DNA dealkylation in varying chromatin contexts.

Chih-Hung Hsu, Ph.D.
B.S., Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
Ph.D., Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Dr. Hsu is working on discovering novel histone modifications and investigating their biological functions.

Benoit Laurent, Ph.D.
M.Sc.,  Physiology and Cellular Biology, France
Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Biology of hematopoietic cells, France

Dr. Laurent’s research focuses on identifying new non-histone targets for demethylases in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in numerous biological processes.

Robert Liefke, Ph.D.
B.S., Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Ph.D., Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Liefke studies the way histone modifications are read by histone readers, particularly in the case of proteins with more than one histone reader domain, where he looks at how these different domains work together to read a combination of histone marks. He is also interested in how the recognition of the histone code is then translated into downstream events, as well as the role of histone modifications and their interplay by bioinformatic approaches.

Jernej Murn, Ph.D.
B.S., University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ph.D., University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Laboratory for Functional Genomics, CEA, France

Chromatin changes during somatic cell reprogramming, active DNA demethylation, radical SAM enzymes. Dr. Murn’s current focus is on defining the mechanism by which ectopic expression of a transcription factor transforms multiple different cell types to neurons or their progenitors.

Ruggero Spadafora, M.D.
M.D., University of Pavia, Italy

Dr. Spadafora’s research focuses on DNA demethylation, particularly on what mechanisms are involved in the DNA demethylation process following activation in a primary culture of neurons. He also has an interest in which epigenetic mechanisms in DNA methylation modulate environmental influences on the developing brain for possible applications in the care of premature and term newborns. He is currently collaborating on a project that investigates the mechanisms of inheritance of the epigenetic marks in a C. elegans model of sterility.

Yang Xiang, Ph.D.
B.S., Nanjing Agricultural University, China
Ph.D., Institute of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, China

Dr. Xiang is interested in the characterization of chromatin-associated molecules and their function in disease.


Kuo-Kai Chin
Undergraduate Student

Mr. Chin is performing a screen in C. elegans to identify an arginine demethylase that can remove methyl-marks from modified arginine residues.

Lab Manager - Research Assistant

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