Andrew Zhuo Xiao PhD
Assistant Professor of Genetics
Chromatin biology; Histone variants; Modifications and chromatin remodeling complexes; Cellular reprogramming (iPS) and stem cell biology; Mammalian neural crest cell; Mammalian DNA damage response
Current ProjectsCurrent research focuses on 1) Determining the role of H2A.X in differentiation and cellular reprogramming (iPS cells). H2A.X is a unique histone variant, which is highly enriched in ES cells. We are using genomic and biochemistry approach to investigate the function of H2A.X in transcriptional regulation and cell fate determination. 2) Delineating the pathways regulated by H2A.X and WSTF in embryonic development and its implication in human Williams syndrome. We are using mouse genetics approach to investigate their functions in pluripotent neural crest cells and tissue-specific stem cells. 3) Investigating the functions of H2A.X and WSTF in DNA repair pathways. We are focusing on identifying their functions in maintaining genome integrity and preventing aberrant transcription. We welcome young scientists with similar interests to join us to study these interesting and intriguing questions.
We focus on elucidating epigenetic mechanisms for mammalian stem cell biology, cellular reprogramming (iPS) and embryonic development, with an emphasis on chromatin biology. Maintenance of genome integrity is an important issue during embryonic development and our work discovered the first link between epigenetics and genomic stability in mammalian cells (Nature 2009 V457, 57-62). Our most recent research has revealed several unexpected functions of epigenetic factors in determining iPSC quality (Cell Stem Cell 2014, two in press), and controlling telomere length and the aging/senescence of pluripotent stem cells (Developmental Cell, 2014, 29(1) 7-19). These findings motivate us to investigate how epigenetic mechanisms control various DNA elements in mammalian genomes and how it is linked to the potency of stem cells. We are using biochemistry, cell biology, mouse genetics, and genomics approaches to address these questions.