David Skalnik Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education, Dean's Office
Professor, Biology


PhD: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1987

Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Current Research

Current research interest include regulation of lineage-specific gene expression in phagocytic blood cells, epigenetics and regulation of chromatin structure during mammalian development.

The Skalnik laboratory is interested in understanding the basic cellular machinery that is responsible for the control of epigenetic modifications and regulation of gene expression during mammalian development. Our focus is currently on histone methylation, specifically the Set1A and Set1B histone H3-Lys4 methyltransferase complexes that are involved in activating gene expression. Our laboratory was the first to identify and clone these novel complexes. More recently, we have created "knock-out" mice that lack critical components of these complexes. Our data indicate that cells lacking methyltransferase complex components exhibit dramatic defects of both histone methylation and cytosine methylation (another epigenetic modification), which leads to death. In the future, we hope to gain a better understanding of how mammalian cells distinctly control the dozen or more histone methyltransferase complexes that co-exist in cells, including how these enzymes are targeted to specific genomic sites. We are also interested in studying the role of epigenetic regulation in the control of hematopoiesis.

Select Publications

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