Modifications of the genome that do not change the sequence of the DNA, called epigenetic modifications, can impact how genes are expressed and lead healthy cells into a disease state.
I will focus on a project applied by Dr. Sheng Li, the inner workings of cancer cells such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – the genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity that drive cancer initiation and progression. Dr. Li utilize computational and sequencing methodologies to identify and characterize the essential epigenetic lesions that guide cancer cells to evolve and escape from anti-cancer therapy. I will use traditional experimental methods to validate normal physiological functions and the mechanisms of epigenetic lesions at the cellular, tissue, organ and animal levels. The ultimate goal is to develop novel methods to predict and address tumor evolution.