My research efforts have focused on fundamental aspects of chromatin structure and remodeling. Areas of particular interest include epigenomic changes upon stress, the molecular basis of chromatin remodeling, the mechanism of histone chaperones in nucleosome assembly, and a potential submodule in chromatin remodelers which can be leveraged as a unique target in various diseases. My laboratory utilizes contemporary approaches such as ChIP-Exo-seq, ChIP-seq, Hi-C, ChIPmentation, ATAC-seq, PIP-seq, whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, MNase, and DNase seq in our studies that span across multiple model systems, including yeast, plants, murine, and human. Our current efforts are focused on the following areas:
(1) Effect of biomechanical forces on chromatin dynamics. The cardiovascular system is constantly exposed to biomechanical forces from the earliest moments of life. For example, the shear stress of blood flow continually impacts endothelial cell gene expression and function. Importantly, different types of shear stress (laminar versus turbulent) have been linked to vascular disease. However, the impact of shear stress on chromatin dynamics/ higher-order chromatin structure and consequently gene expression is poorly understood and constitutes one primary focus of our work.
(2) Aging deteriorates higher-order chromatin structure. My lab focuses on chromatin remodelers and chromatin structure upon aging. We study a group of transcription factors, KLFs, which articulates transcription by binding to promoters and enhancers in the genome. KLFs are known to dictate cellular metabolism to immune response.
(3) My lab is interested in exploring higher-order chromatin structures upon various physiological constraints in endothelial and immune cells, especially myeloid cells. Over the past few decades, a wealth of studies has revealed the crucial roles that myeloid cells play in health and diseases.