Dr. John R. Horton
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
I am a structural biologist with experience as an academic researcher and teacher with outstanding technical capabilities in all aspects of X-ray crystallography, molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. Our laboratory interests include understanding macromolecular structure/function in cellular development and differentiation in addition to determination of macromolecular complexes involved with epigenetic regulation that may have a relationship to cancer.
We plan to utilize our expertise in x-ray crystallography/structural biology to forge new collaborations particularly with members of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, the Center for Cancer Epigenetics and the Center for Biological Pathways here at MD Anderson. My main goals are to a) continue to make exciting and significant contributions to understand the effects of epigenetic modifications and b) broaden my research by forming new collaborations with scientists at MD Anderson as well as the overall Texas Medical Center community.
Another area of the laboratory’s interests includes drug discovery and development. Personally, as well as being first author on several papers analyzing protein-inhibitor interactions, I have also assisted many others in crystallographic characterization of such complexes. Several of these past projects include Dr. Mark Bedford in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis. Recently, we have begun to examine interactions of inhibitor compounds with lysine demethylases that are involved in epigenetic changes in chromatin. These enzymes can be involved in aberrant misinformation in a cell that can cause it to become malignant.