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biochemistry and biophysics

Hua-Ying Fan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Assistant Professor of Genetics (secondary)
Epigenetics Program

9-133 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6145
T: 215-573-5705

Ph.D. Sackler Institute of New York University Medical Center (1996) Cellular and Molecular Biology



The Fan lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. Epigenetics describes the process by which a specific transcriptional program, induced by a signal, is maintained and inherited through cell divisions without the necessary presence of the original signal. Chromatin structure holds the secrets of epigenetic regulation. To dissect the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, our research is focused in two main directions.

First, we study how ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers regulate chromatin structure and how defects in these activities can lead to disease. Currently, we are using CSB (Cockayne Syndrome complementation group B) as a model protein to understand the function of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling in DNA repair, aging and cancer.

Second, we wish to understand how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms influence cancer cell self-renewal and differentiation, mechanisms that might impact the programming and reprogramming capacity of cancer cells. Results from our studies will, therefore, not only shed light on fundamental mechanism of epigenetic regulation, but will provide novel insights into the causes and mechanisms of disease.

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