Dr. Gilbert awarded National Institute of Health/National Human Genome Research Institute R01 grant to study how DNA methylation patterns which are commonly dysregulated in cancer regulate gene expression. He explains "a major goal in biology is to understand how the human genome encodes cell type specific gene expression programs that are required for the function of diverse cell types. We have created a new epigenetic editing approach that we have named CRISPRoff which enables us to map functional gene regulatory elements. We are now proposing to extend this approach to map gene regulatory elements across an entire human chromosome and measure the outcomes at single cell resolution which is a key step towards understanding how disease and tissue-specific gene expression is controlled. This research will enable us to better understand how aberrant DNA methylation which is common in cancers such as prostate cancer drives tumor progression, metastasis and dug resistance."
Learn more about CRISPRoff in April 2021 issue of Cell by clicking here.