Program: Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Current advisor: Harrison W. Gabel, PhD
Undergraduate university: Bryn Mawr College
I am a 3rd year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Harrison Gabel, which primarily studies unique molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in the mammalian brain. The lab has previously found that MeCP2 binds to non-CpG DNA methylation and regulates long neuronal genes in the brain. Specifically, we have found that MeCP2 represses enhancers within long neuronal genes containing high non-CG methylation and that disruption of MeCP2 can lead to increased H3K27 acetylation at these enhancer sites. My current project involves characterizing various histone marks and transcriptional regulators upstream and downstream of this acetylation to better understand how MeCP2 is being recruited to and is regulating these genes. The findings of this analysis can help us better understand neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Rett syndrome and MeCP2 duplication syndrome, caused by disruption of epigenetic regulation in neurons.