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Lab Members

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Roman Alpatov, Ph.D.
B.S., University of Michigan-Dearborn
Ph.D., University of Florida

Dr. Alpatov studies how chromatin modifications affect genomic stability and replication stress response.

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.

Emily Brookes, Ph.D.
M.A., Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
M.Res., MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London
Ph.D., MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College LondonDr. Brookes isinterested in apply reprogramming technologies to generate patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to study the epigenetics of neuropsychiatric disorders. Her specific aim is to generate iPS cell lines from X linked mental retardation (XLMR) patients with mutations in the SMCX histone demethylase gene, and to utilise these XLMR-iPS cell lines to understand the link between SMCX mutation and disease.

Shuzhen Chen, Ph.D.
B.S., Beijing University, China             
Ph.D., University of Florida

Histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) methylation is an important histone modification for gene regulation, development and cancer biology. We and other labs have discovered the H3K27 demethylases UTX and JMJD3. Dr. Chen’s work is to elucidate the functional mechanism of how these H3K27 demthylases regulate gene regulation and development.

Eric Lieberman Greer, Ph.D.
B.A., Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D., Stanford University

Dr. Greer’scurrent interests lie in understanding the molecular mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance using the nematode C. elegans as a model system.

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.

Huangming Xie, Ph.D.
B.S., National University of Singapore
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehead Institute

Dr. Xie isinterested in chromatin and transcriptional regulation. In particular, he studies the epigenetic mechanisms underlying development and differentiation, and their connections to human diseases including cancers and neurological disorders. His current research focuses on DNA methylation and the characterization of novel proteins that selectively recognize and maintain methylated DNA in a non-CpG context, namely CHG and CHH (H = A, C, or T).

Xiaobo Xu, M.D., Ph.D.
M.D., Medical school, Zhejiang University, China
M.S., Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit, Brussel

Dr. Xufocuses his research on epigenetic regulation in development, regeneration and carcinogenesis.

Kazuyuki Yamagata, Ph.D.
B.S., University of Tsukuba, Japan
Ph.D., University of Tsukuba, Japan

Dr. Yamagata’s research interest is in bridging the gap between gene mutations and cancer development through examination of gene mutation and hematopoiesis and myeloid differentiation in myeloid leukemia.


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.

Hui Jun (Sharon) Lim
Ph.D. Student

Ms. Lim is currently studying the molecular mechanisms of the JMJD2/KDM4 family of histone demethylases. She also has an interest in many aspects of chromatin biology as well as non-chromatin related topics, such as like host-virus interactions and co-evolution and non-coding RNAs.

Lab Manager - Research Assistant

Dane Cooper

Mr. Cooper is studying the effects of LSD1 isoforms on histone modifications during cell cycle.

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