Our laboratory is centered on the molecular basis of energy homeostasis and tissue development, using adipogenesis and muscle as the primary model systems. This includes the biochemical mechanisms of metabolic diseases, especially obesity, insulin-resistant diabetes (type 2) and muscle diseases. In addition, we have a major interest in suppressing cancer cell growth by stimulating pathways of altered cell metabolism and DNA repair.
Biology of the Nucleus and Gene Expression
A major focus of my lab is to understand epigenetic regulation and its role in human diseases. Specifically, we are investigating how histone methylation is dynamically regulated as well as mechanisms involved in the recognition of combinatorial modifications occurring on histone tails that are important for chromatin regulation.
We study how protein- and RNA-based mechanisms mediate the formation and propagation of epigenetic chromatin domains.
The Whitman lab is interested in how signals are transduced into highly specific biological responses during embryogenesis, during physiological responses of an organism to stress or damage, and during the development of various disease pathologies.
Our broad goal is to understand the function of human RNA machines, such as the SMN complex, the spliceosome and the TREX complex, in both normal and disease states with current emphasis on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and cancer.
We are interested in developing and applying new technologies in the fields of mass spectrometry and proteomics.