David T. Burke
Mammalian Molecular Genetics
The research program of the laboratory is directed towards understanding chromosomal organization in the mammalian genome and the influence of large-scale DNA interactions on gene expression. From genetic evidence it is clear that some genomic sequences are able to interact over distances of tens to thousands of kilobases of DNA. Various long-distance effects have been implicated in gene regulation and may involve novel molecular mechanisms. Studies of these large-scale interactions are being pursued using the laboratory mouse and cultured mammalian cells as experimental systems for targeted DNA integration.
A second area of emphasis is the development of genetic systems for the study of mammalian aging. Changes in gene expression are known to occur throughout the life course of mammals and often involve an increase in misregulation. Work in the area of aging genetics includes complex multigenic trait analysis and studies of X chromosome gene expression stability.