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Graduate Students

 Carly  Harro

Carly Harro

Carly Harro

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Advisor : Alvaro Monteiro

Program

Ph.D.

Cancer development is influenced by gene expression patterns via epigenetic mechanism (DNA methylation, chromatin packaging, and histone modification). Epigenetic modifiers are essential for directing lineage-specific transcriptional programs in immune cells. Disruption of these cellular processes contributes to the progression of various hematological malignancies. Small-molecular inhibitors against chromatin and histone modifiers have proven to be effective in the clinic. My work focuses on understanding the epigenetic processes responsible for the progression of T-cell and B-cell leukemia, and identifying key targetable mechanisms in these diseases. Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is an essential epigenetic modifier for T-cell development in the thymus. Interestingly, we have found that SATB1 is either transcriptionally repressed or overexpressed in many leukemia/lymphomas of various lineages compared to normal lymphocytes. As such my research aims to: 1.) Understand the role of SATB1 in 3D chromatin modification/looping structures in conjunction with other chromatin-associated factors. 2.) Understand how the epigenetic silencing/overexpression of SATB1 expression in leukemia/lymphomas trigger molecular reprogramming and pathology. 3.) Screening epigenetic inhibitors and their efficacy in targeting oncogenic or restoring tumor suppressive pathways.