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Coming Events

10/24/2014 - Partners in Giving - Popcorn Extravaganza
10/24/2014 - IPiB Seminar Series - Brendan Floyd
10/27/2014 - Contemporary Biochemistry - Paul Selvin

Ansari Lab - Flipping gene switches with engineered transcription regulators
The information required to produce a complex organism is encoded within its genome. A lens cell of the eye and an insulin-producing pancreatic cell contain identical genomic information yet access only a subset of that information. Thus, regulated expression of specific genes, in response to various cues, is what instructs cells to adopt defined fates in an organism. Inappropriate expression of genes can give rise to diseases, including cancer and diabetes.

The broad goals of the lab are to understand the mechanistic events that culminate in the expression of specific genes, and to develop artificial transcription factors capable of regulating the expression of targeted genes. Artificial transcription factors that can be designed to regulate a specific gene of interest offer a powerful tool to dissect transcriptional cascades that determine cell-fate. Such regulators could potentially develop into a new class of ?transcription-based? therapeutics. We create small molecule regulators that are capable of binding to specific DNA sequences and regulating the expression of proximal genes. These regulators function robustly in vitro and our current efforts are focused on targeting specific promoters in living organisms.

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