I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Saint Louis University and a member of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. My research focuses on the transcription process, which involves transcribing genetic information from DNA to RNA. This process is regulated by various rate-limiting steps, and I specifically study the initial steps in the recruitment of sequence-specific transcription factors and the role of coregulators, such as coactivators and corepressors, in regulating transcription. I study scaffold and enzymatic coregulators, including histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone acetyltransferases (HATs).

I use a combination of interdisciplinary approaches, including protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction assays, transcription rate measurements of model and natural genes, molecular dynamics simulations and mutagenesis studies, ChIP-Seq analysis of chromatin occupancy, RNA-Seq and scRNA-Seq analysis of gene transcription, mouse knockouts, disease progression modeling using patient-derived xenografts, and analysis of acute myeloid leukemia patient samples including those from TCGA and TARGET datasets. These approaches allow us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the transcription process and its involvement in human cancer.

Download my curriculum vitae.

Interests

  • Targeted therapeutics for acute myeloid leukemia
  • Transcription, signaling, epigenetics
  • Structural biology
  • Data Science, High-throughput sequencing, Artificial Intelligence

Education

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University, 2005

    Advisor: Dr. Robert G. Roeder

  • PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, 1999

    Advisor: Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar

  • MS in Biochemistry, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Academia Sinica, 1991

    Advisor: Prof. Wang-Yi Liu

  • BS in Biochemistry, Nanjing University, 1988

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