The goal of the UPenn Epigenetics Program is to advance basic and applied
research in chromatin biology and epigenetics, building on current interest both
in mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation, and in unraveling genome-wide
chromatin patterns, commonly known as epigenomes.
While genetic approaches to altering cell and tissue function involve direct
perturbation of the genome, epigenetic approaches involve the use of small
molecules to modulate enzymes and chromatin binding proteins and thus
provides a novel approach for developing therapies and diagnostics to improve
The Epigenetics Program encourages collaborations between basic and clinical
research in epigenetics. Common diseases, such as cancer and metabolic
syndromes, as well as brain and memory function, are established and disrupted
by these pathways.
The Epigenetics Program offers monthly research meetings, sponsors seminars,
organizes annual symposia and retreats, recruits and mentors faculty, galvanizes
large group projects leading to new research grant opportunities, establishes
technology cores, among other long-term projects. The Epigenetics Program
currently encompasses an Executive committee of 12 faculty members, and
participation of more than 50 laboratories from the Philadelphia area, including
Penn, Wistar, Jefferson, Fox Chase, Drexel and Temple.