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Investigators and Program Directors

Randy Morse

Randall H. Morse

Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center, Molecular Genetics
Professor, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral training, Columbia University and National Institutes of Health


Research Interests

Transcription in chromatin
Transcription in chromatin. DNA (white ribbon) is wrapped around a histone protein core (yellow discs) in chromatin. Transcription occurs when an activator binds a specific region of DNA and recruits transcription factors (TAFs, TBP, and others) and protein complexes (SWI/SNF and others) that modify histones or remodel chromatin.

Our lab has focused since the early 1990s on how eukaryotic transcription occurs in the context of chromatin.  DNA in eukaryotes is packaged into nucleosomes, and enzymes that alter nucleosome structure or modify the constituent histone proteins have central roles in transcriptional regulation.  Correct regulation of transcription and chromatin structure is critical to developmental and integral cellular processes, and misregulation has been associated with developmental abnormalities and disease, including cancer.  We use yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model organism for our investigations.  Transcription factors and chromatin components are highly conserved between yeast and metazoans, including humans, so that studies performed using yeast provide considerable insight into fundamental processes across the eukaryotic kingdom.

Approaches used in the lab include molecular genetics, biochemistry, and bioinformatic/computational methods. Two current ongoing projects involve investigations on the role of the Mediator complex in transcriptional regulation in yeast, and the mechanism by which the general regulatory factors Abf1 and Rap1 contribute to chromatin structure and transcriptional activation in yeast. In addition, we have recently begun a collaboration with Sally Temple’s lab at the NY Neural Stem Cell Institute to study chromatin-mediated regulation of adult murine neural stem cells. For all of these projects, we employ genome-wide approaches such as microarray analysis of gene expression and chromatin structure, as well as more traditional, gene-centric approaches.

Data from our microarray studies can be downloaded HERE.

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Contact Information

Phone: 518-486-3116
Fax: 518-402-2299