A transcriptional condensate model to understand and target developmental disease and neurodegeneration
Dr. Denes Hnisz
Numerous forms of human congenital developmental syndromes and neurodegenerative diseases are caused by mutations in transcriptional regulators, and our ability to target these diseases thus relies on advances in our understanding of transcriptional control in human cells. We have recently discovered that in mammalian cells, transcriptional regulators can undergo liquid-liquid phase separation and form condensates that co-localize with prominent cell identity genes. Such transcriptional condensates have unusual physico-biochemical properties that explain phenomena previously poorly explained by conventional transcriptional control models. The central theme of lab projects is to exploit this new condensate model of transcription to understand and target developmental syndromes and neurodegenerative diseases associated with mutations in transcriptional regulators.
The successful candidate will be engaged in generating high-resolution imaging-, optogenetic-, biochemistry- and genomics- based platforms to comprehensively characterize phase separation capacities of numerous transcriptional regulators and their mutant alleles associated with developmental and neurodegenerative diseases.