My research interests are focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation. Previously my work focused on epigenetics and in particular DNA methylation. Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in the underlying DNA sequence, and is critically important for proper development and in establishing tissue-specific gene expression patterns. I have studied the effects of environmental and dietary insults in utero on the epigenome, and subsequently on aberrant gene expression in the offspring in adulthood. Most recently my research has focused on the molecular events that drive the response to wounding. The African spiny mouse has recently been shown to possess the ability to heal in a scar-free manner following full-thickness skin wounds, and can fully regenerate all associated structures in the skin. By studying the response of the immune system and of the components of the extra-cellular matrix, we hope to be able to induce scar-free repair and even regeneration in non-regenerating mammals.
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