Gene Regulation, Epigenomics and Transcriptomics Current Students

Cody Aros

Mentor: Brigitte Gomperts
Research project:

Cody is studying the differences and similarities between the mechanisms underlying non-small cell and small cell cancers of the lung.


Posttranslational modification of β-catenin is associated with pathogenic fibroblastic changes in bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Sucre JM, Vijayaraj P, Aros CJ, Wilkinson D, Paul M, Dunn B, Guttentag SH, Gomperts BN. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Feb 1;312(2):L186-L195. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00477.2016. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

Adriana Corvalan

Mentor: Hillary Coller
Research project:

In the Coller Lab we are interested in quiescence, the cells resting state outside it’s proliferation cycle. Adriana is interested in the epigenetic changes that occur as a cell transitions from quiescence to proliferation (and vice versa) and how these epigenetic changes affect proliferation, gene expression, and chromatin compaction.

Nivedita Damodaren

Mentor: Kathrin Plath and Douglas Black

Samantha Edwards

Mentor: Tracy Johnson
Research project:

Samantha is studying how the chromatin environment affects pre-mRNA splicing.


Posttranscriptional Regulation of Gcr1 Expression and Activity Is Crucial for Metabolic Adjustment in Response to Glucose Availability. Hossain MA, Claggett JM, Edwards SR, Shi A, Pennebaker SL, Cheng MY, Hasty J, Johnson TL. Mol Cell. 2016 May 5;62(3):346-58. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.04.012.

Emily Hsu

Mentor: Arnold Berk

Research project:

Transcriptional activation of early viral genes by adenovirus large E1A via interactions with Mediator and p300

Lucia Ichino

Mentor: Steven Jacobsen

Michael Kronenberg

Mentor: Michael Carey

Research Project:

Michael studies how transcription factor binding events at enhancers interact to stimulate enhancer-promoter looping and subsequent gene expression.

Jarrett Miller

Mentor: Kathrin Plath

Research project:

Jarrett is studying super enhancer logic in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Shawntel Okonkwo

Mentor: Tracy Johnson
Research project:

Shawntel studies the enzymatic activity underlying RNAPII CTD modification and its relationship to the splicing machinery.

Katherine Pohl

Mentor: Xianjie Yang

Kevin Qian

Mentor: Peter Tontonoz

Graham Read

Mentor: Joanne Weidhaas

Alex Salisbury (David)

Mentor: Tamer Sallam and Peter Tontonoz

Carina Sandoval

Mentor: Oliver Fregoso

Shawn (Ying Xuan) Tan

Mentor: Kathrin Plath
Research project:

Shawn is working on elucidation of the localization and molecular function of the Tsix IncRNA.

Guillaume Urtecho

Mentor: Sri Kosuri

Research project:

Guillaume researches multiplexed library approaches to studying promoter architecture in E. coli.


Systematic Dissection of Sequence Elements Controlling σ70 Promoters Using a Genomically-Encoded Multiplexed Reporter Assay in E. coli. Biochemistry. Urtecho G, Tripp AD, Insigne K, Kim H, Kosuri S. Systematic Dissection of Sequence Elements Controlling σ70 Promoters Using a Genomically-Encoded Multiplexed Reporter Assay in E. coli. Biochemistry. February 2018:10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01069. doi:10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01069

Nathan Zemke

Mentor: Arnold Berk
Research project:

Characterizing the mechanisms of adenoviral E1A cellular reprogramming by examining its influence on gene expression and interacting cellular proteins.


Adenovirus small E1A employs the lysine acetylases p300/CBP and tumor suppressor Rb to repress select host genes and promote productive virus infection. Ferrari R, Gou D, Jawdekar G, Johnson SA, Nava M, Su T, Yousef AF, Zemke NR, Pellegrini M, Kurdistani SK, Berk AJ. Cell Host Microbe. 2014 Nov 12;16(5):663-76. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2014.10.004. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Lingyu Zhan

Mentor: Jae Hoon Sul