Keck School of Medicine
USC / Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Cancer Genetics
- Cancer Cell Biology
- DNA & RNA
- DNA Replication
Research OverviewCytosine methylation is essential for normal mammalian development yet contributes substantially to the development of human cancer The function of cytosine methylation is not completely understood but it is thought to be part of a mechanism to silence genes in a heritable fashion. Alterations in this silencing mechanism can contribute to the heritable inactivation of tumor suppressor genes thus contributing to the malignant phenotype.
My laboratory studies DNA methylation in human cancer.We are focused on the biochemical mechanisms by which cytosine methylation patterns are changed particularly with respect to the cell cycle and in determining how this process is involved in the transformation of human cells. We are interested in fundamental aspects of the control of DNA methylation as it relates to the de novo methylation of the promoter regions of tumor suppressor genes. This epigenetic mechanism by which tumor suppressor genes can be inactivated may be an important pathway which contributes to carcinogenesis in a wide variety of tumors.