Lurie Cancer Center Member
Steven Kosak, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology; Feinberg School of Medicine
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With the sequencing of the human genome, attention in biomedical research has shifted from the analysis of individual genes to understanding the genome as a whole: how is the genome regulated and organized during cell division, differentiation, and senescence? How does this organization change with disease? The ultimate goal in studying the cell biology of the nucleus is to actually detect these dynamic genomic changes, as opposed to interpreting them from transcriptome profiling, chromatin conformation capture, or other indirect approaches. This goal is mirrored by the objective of systems biology: biological processes need to be addressed in their entirety and the resulting interpretation will yield insights that are greater than the sum of their parts. We will attempt to bridge these disciplines in our study of the relationship between form and function in the human nucleus. Our ultimate goal is to describe the overall behavior of a dynamic system, the human genome in stem cells as they differentiate, to better understand how it goes awry in disease states, in particular during carcinogenesis. To this end, we are developing and implementing experimental strategies and analytical methods to meet the need for the analysis of dynamic genomic reorganization during cellular differentiation. Our ties to the Lurie Cancer Center make our work possible, through collaborations with other members (in particular the Tumor Cell Biology group) to the facilities and opportunities the Center supports.