Associate Professor, Division of Molecular Medicine,
Department of Internal Medicine
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
Email Dr. Fan
UNM Cancer Research Facility
915 Camino de Salud, Room 125
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics and Genomics
The Fan lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, focusing on two main directions: (1) the function and regulation of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, and (2) the mechanisms of mitotic transcription memory by the retention of sequence-specific transcription factors on mitotic chromatin. Results from these studies will shed light on fundamental mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and provide novel insights into the causes and mechanisms of disease.
ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers make nucleosomal DNA accessible by altering DNA-histone contacts in a non-covalent manner to control fundamental nuclear processes. Thus, these enzymes play critical roles in cell growth, differentiation and development. Aberrant chromatin remodeling activities lead to numerous diseases, including developmental syndromes and cancer, highlighting the importance of these enzymes to human health. The Fan lab has been using the Cockayne syndrome complementation group B protein (CSB) as an experimental paradigm to understand the biochemical properties of remodelers and determine how these activities are utilized in specific biological processes. Currently, the lab is determining how CSB is distinct from other chromatin remodelers and how its unique features equip this enzyme to protect cells from genotoxic stress.