The Jia lab studies epigenetic control of genome organization in eukaryotic cells. Chromatin, composed of genomic DNA wrapped around histone and non-histone proteins, plays a crucial role in this organization. The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which consists of 146 bp of DNA coiled around an octamer of histones. Epigenetic mechanisms, including covalent modifications of histones, chromatin-remodeling activities, and DNA modifications, form complex pathways that organize genomes into distinct domains that have vital regulatory functions in various aspects of DNA metabolism. These mechanisms also gradually restrict the developmental potential of stem cells during differentiation and store memories of gene activity that ensure accurate inheritance of cell identity. Defects in epigenetic regulation have been linked to numerous developmental disorders and cancers. The Jia lab uses systems biology approaches, such as high-throughput genetic screens, genomics, and proteomics, in conjunction with conventional genetic and biochemical analyses to explore the role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating genome function.
The Jia lab is located on the 11th floor of Fairchild Center. We have positions for graduate student and postdoctoral fellows! Please contact Dr. Jia if you are interested in joining the team.