Department of Internal Medicine
Dana N. Levasseur, Ph.D.
Our laboratory focuses on the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of self-renewal in embryonic stem cells. We are using functional genomics tools to identify and characterize the combined roles of genome-wide protein coding sequences, non-coding micro RNAs and higher order chromatin structure on the regulatory network that endows pluripotency (the ability to give rise to all tissues in the body). Information gathered from these studies will help us understand how the properties of pluripotency can be reliably conferred upon an adult cell type such as skin. This work should enable us to develop safe, patient-specific cell therapies for blood disorders and cardiovascular disease.
- Orkin, S.H., Wang, J., Kim, J., Chu, J., Rao, J., Theunissen, T.W., Shen, X., Levasseur, D.N. The transcriptional network controlling pluripotency in ES cells. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. (in press-2008).
- Wang, J., Levasseur, D.N., Orkin, S.H. Requirement of Nanog dimerization for stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 105(17):6326-31, 2008. Epub 24 Apr 2008.
- Levasseur, D.N., Wang, J., Dorschner, M.O., Stamatoyannopoulos, J., Orkin, S.H. Oct4 dependence of chromatin structure within the extended Nanog locus in ES cells. Genes and Development, 22(5):575-580. Epub 18 Feb 2008. (Featured cover article).
- Wang, J., Rao, S., Chu, J., Shen, X., Levasseur, D.N., Theunissen, T.W., Orkin, S.H. A protein interaction network for pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Nature, 444(7117):364-8. Epub 8 Nov 2006.