Research

Finding the genome-environment balance

Genetic and epigenetic controls are crucial in cellular differentiation, immune system development, neurogenesis, and normal cellular function. These controls are labile and disrupted by chemical environmental exposures through an individual’s embryonic development, early childhood, and during aging. Our long term mission is to understand and prevent environmentally modulated genetic diseases. A wiser student likes to call them genetically modulated environmental diseases. 

The laboratory pursues research themes in genetics, epigenetics, and environmental health. We combine experimental approaches, genomics and next generation sequencing (RNAseq, WGBS, etc), and integrative computational data analyses.

Most recently the laboratory has focused on the nucleolus and the ribosomal DNA arrays, as well as a variety of environmental stressors of public health relevance.

Other areas of inquiry include: (i) biology of repetitive elements and multicopy DNA arrays: their genetic and epigenetic variation, manifold cellular consequences, packaging, and relevance to a variety of normal and disease phenotypes. (ii) environmental origin of genetic and epigenetic variation that is stable in somatic tissues and between generations. (iii) Individual and population responses to the environment.