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Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in phenotype through a mechanism other than genetic sequence — e.g., DNA cytosine methylation, histone post-translational modifications, nucleosome positioning, and chromatin organization. Epigenetic signatures differ between somatic cells and stem cells, between different tissue types, and are dysregulated in cancer. The epigenetic state has a strong effect on how genes are regulated, but the mechanism for this regulation is still being explored.
The Timp Lab is focused on two areas: parsing the biophysical mechanisms of epigenetics on a single molecule basis and dissecting how epigenetics effects and is affected by signal transduction on a single cell basis via control of the cellular microenvironment. These two areas of research are synergistic; single molecule research is a bottom-up approach informing new targets to explore via FISH or immunofluorescence, or new signal pathways. The single cell approach will reveal new epigenetic patterns, which we can then explore using the single molecule toolset.
Selected PublicationsView all on Pubmed
Kurz V, Nelson EM, Perry N, Timp W, Timp G. Epigenetic memory emerging from integrated transcription bursts. Biophys J. 2013 Sep 17;105(6):1526-32. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.08.010. PMID: 24048004
Timp W, Feinberg AP. Cancer as a dysregulated epigenome allowing cellular growth advantage at the expense of the host. Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Jul;13(7):497-510. doi: 10.1038/nrc3486. Epub 2013 Jun 13. PMID: 23760024
Timp W, Comer J, Aksimentiev A. DNA base-calling from a nanopore using a Viterbi algorithm. Biophys J. 2012 May 16;102(10):L37-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 May 15. PMID: 22677395
Nelson EM, Kurz V, Shim J, Timp W, Timp G. Using a nanopore for single molecule detection and single cell transfection. Analyst. 2012 Jul 7;137(13):3020-7. doi: 10.1039/c2an35571j. Epub 2012 May 29. PMID: 22645737
McDonald OG, Wu H, Timp W, Doi A, Feinberg AP. Genome-scale epigenetic reprogramming during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011 Jul 3;18(8):867-74. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2084. PMID: 21725293