Brief Summary of research:
Our lab investigates the response of the body to fasting. The liver is responsible for supplying the body with fuel (glucose and ketone bodies). During fasting, a set of responses are triggered within the liver in order to maintain the supply of energy to the body. This chain of reactions is made possible by thousands of genes being turned “on” and “off”. If these reactions are not regulated, we are unable to survive fasting for more than a few hours. Conversely, if the liver produces too much fuel, this can lead to the development of diseases such as diabetes, at the root of which lies the excess unregulated production of glucose. Using genomic, metabolic and molecular biology approaches, we study the gene regulatory networks that mediate the liver’s response to fasting. We aim to better understand these networks and how their dysregulation can contribute to obesity and diabetes.
Specific research topics related to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology:
- In studying transcriptional and chromatin regulation, we focus on the interaction of transcription factors with DNA. The affinity and dynamics of TF-DNA interaction lays at the heart of gene expression regulation. These interactions occur at the nano scale and our lab has optimized methods to characterize, quantify and manipulate TF-DNA interaction in the natural setting of chromatin-wrapped DNA in living cells.