Trevor K. Archer
Institut Pasteur de Bangui
Trevor K. Archer, Ph.D., is Chief of the Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory and head of the Chromatin and Gene Expression Group. The group studies chromatin remodeling complexes, epigenetics, and embryonic stem cell pluripotency. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be ~1.4 million new cancer cases and ~560,000 deaths in 2007. Thus, despite the recent declines in death and incidences from most cancers, the disease remains a potent and vital public health concern for the nation and central to the mission of the NIEHS (See the National Cancer Institute Cancer Trends Progress Report). Both the magnitude of the problem and the diversity of diseases that appear to comprise "cancer" have lead to an intense increase in fundamental cancer research. While this research has developed along multiple avenues, efforts in the areas of chromatin & epigenetics, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), and stem cell biology have become particularly intense. In human cells, DNA is organized with the aid of small basic proteins, histones, to form chromatin. The nucleosome, comprising 147 base pairs of DNA and 2 copies each of histones H2a, H2b, H3 and H4, is the fundamental organizing principle of chromatin. It is this architecture that is the substrate for epigenetic regulation. Biological processes have to overcome this inherently repressive structure and do so with the aid of two classes of enzymes. The first class disrupts chromatin structure using ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, and the second class mediates the covalent modification of histone proteins. These enzymes and their activities often are altered in cancer cells, thus becoming important targets for novel therapeutics.
Epigenetics & Stem Cell Biology, Evaluating how chromatin remodeling complexes and transcription factors function in transcription from chromatin Analyzing the ubiquitin proteasome system interface with chromatin remodeling, epigenetics and hormone signaling Exploring how chromatin and epigenetics contribute to human ES cell pluripotency