Epigenetic mark changes have been implicated in the initiation and progression of various cancers. Such epigenetic alterations involve the changes of histone modifications, nucleosome remodeling, DNA methylation and noncoding RNAs expression, rather than the changes of DNA sequence itself.
Huihuang Yan, Ph.D., conducts research focused on the characterization of possible epigenetic aberrations associated with human cancers, in particular with lymphoma. He is trying to integrate multiple types of large-scale genomic and epigenomic data generated from ChIP-Seq, ATAC-seq, DNase-Seq, RNA-Seq and Hi-C. His main goal is to understand the roles of genetic variation and epigenetic alteration and their interaction in the etiology of disease.
- Systematic analysis of ChIP-Seq, chromatin accessibility and Hi-C chromatin interaction data. These epigenetic marks are known to be involved in the development of human diseases, including cancer.
- Integrated analysis of human disease-associated single nucleotide or structural variations with gene expression, genome-wide epigenomic profiles and long-range chromatin interactions in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
- Development of algorithms and pipelines for analyzing genome-wide epigenomic data.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Yan's research effort will result in the construction of comprehensive epigenomic landscapes and in the identification of associations with collections of genetic variants and gene transcripts for a particular disease. Integration of these data with clinical information will greatly contribute to the understanding of how alterations of chromatin states and their interplay disrupt the transcriptional regulation network, ultimately leading to cancer development. Therefore, the accumulation of such knowledge will be vital to the discovery of biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and the development of effective treatment strategies.