BME Seminar- Courtney Hodges, Ph.D. Stanford University

  • Starts: 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 23, 2017
  • Ends: 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 23, 2017
Talk title The physical epigenome: Quantitative approaches to characterize epigenetic systems Abstract Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are critical for multicellular development and normal function. Indeed, the deregulation of these systems is a hallmark of cancer and other disorders. However, many essential regulatory events arise through short-lived interactions, which are difficult to characterize with conventional epigenetic approaches. To overcome such limitations, I have used novel physical and quantitative techniques to characterize epigenetic processes. In this talk, I will briefly describe three examples: (1) the use of single-molecule manipulation to reveal the dynamic barrier posed to RNA polymerase by nucleosomes; (2) integration of stochastic simulations with experiment to characterize the basis of heterochromatin stability; and (3) applying quantitative epigenomics to reveal the mechanisms of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling disrupted in cancer. These studies illuminate the physical basis for chromatin regulation, from detailed mechanisms of single molecules to global effects spanning the genome. My future research will integrate biophysical approaches with new "omic"-based strategies, to reveal the quantitative principles governing epigenetic systems. Bio Courtney Hodges received his Ph.D. in biophysics in the lab of Carlos Bustamante at U.C. Berkeley. As a graduate student, he developed single-molecule manipulation techniques to observe the molecular-scale motions of individual molecular motors, including RNA Polymerase II. As a postdoc in the laboratory of Jerry Crabtree at Stanford, he worked on modeling the dynamics of histone marks, and developed analytical methods for a meta-analysis of mSWI/SNF (BAF) mutations in cancer. Recently, he has found that mutation of the BAF/PBAF ATPase Brg disrupts physical interactions with repressive factors, a defect that contributes to deregulation of silencing in diverse malignancies and developmental disorders. His future work will focus on integrating biophysical and epigenomic techniques, to uncover the fundamental biophysical mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. www.bu.edu/eng/files/2017/03/Hodges-3-23.jpg
Location:
PHO 206, 8 St. Mary’s Street

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