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Shilpa Dhar

Shilpa Dhar

Associate Member

Assistant Professor

[email protected]
Zayed Building - Z12.3018

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston
Department of  Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Our lab conducts research to understand the epigenetic mechanism of histone modifications and their modifiers in cancer cells. Epigenetic mechanisms in cancer refer to changes in gene expression that occur without alterations to the underlying DNA sequence. These changes can result in the activation of oncogenes or the silencing of tumor suppressor genes, which can promote the development and progression of cancer. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA regulation are commonly observed in cancer and can serve as potential therapeutic targets. Our goal is to reveal new concepts about the causes of cancer and how it develops, progresses, and responds to targeted therapy.?

Histone lysine methylation is a hallmark of epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of gene expression. This modification is associated with either gene activation or repression and is modulated by histone methylation modifiers, such as histone methyltransferases (methyl writers) and demethylases (methyl erasers). Epigenetic changes are crucial for cellular differentiation and normal development. Epigenetic alterations lead to abnormal biological processes, such as cancer. For example, Mll4/ KMT2D methylates Histone 3 K4 residue, which is found to be mutated in several cancer.

We employ a wide range of biochemical, molecular biological, and biological techniques, such as DNA cloning, protein expression in bacteria and mammalian cells, various biochemical assays, mammalian cell culture, proteomic techniques, CRISPR techniques, chromatin immunoprecipitation, quantitative real-time PCR assays, xenograft mouse models, various genetically modified mouse models, ChIP- Seq, ATAC-Seq, Hi-C and Bioinformatics.


Education & Training

PhD - Gujarat University - 1999