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.
Biology of the Nucleus and Gene Expression
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 laboratory is centered on the molecular basis of cell differentiation and tissue development, using adipogenesis as a model system. We are also interested in the biochemical mechanisms of metabolic diseases relating to adipogenesis, especially obesity and insulin-resistant diabetes (NIDDM). In addition, we have a major interest in trying to alter cancer cell growth by stimulating pathways of terminal differentiation.
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.