Epigenomic reprogramming by long noncoding RNA
Our lab seeks to address fundamental questions regarding stem cell identity and the functions of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in epigenomic reprogramming and cancer. We leverage powerful genomic and (epi)genome engineering technologies to profile and functionally characterize lncRNA genes in individual cells. There are tens of thousands of uncharacterized lncRNAs in our genome, many of which are misregulated in cancer, and we use induced pluripotent stem cells and mouse models of cancer to examine how lncRNAs are involved in epigenomic reprogramming. By discovering their functions in the acquisition and maintenance of stem cell identity, particularly in the context of tumorigenesis, we aim to develop lncRNA-based precision medicine approaches to better diagnose and treat aggressive, poorly differentiated cancers.