We focus on understanding the molecular aspects of chromatin regulation and have a long-standing interest in the study of histone variants. We want to find ways to translate knowledge about chromatin regulation into therapeutic tools for the management of diseases such as blood cancers.
We seek to bridge the gap between basic molecular research and translational research by exploring chromatin regulation, in particular the molecular biology of histone variants. We aim to exploit this knowledge for the identification of novel intervention strategies for the treatment of blood cancers. We focus on the continuum of myeloid diseases, ranging from the premalignant expansion of altered clones to chronic myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukaemia.
Through our research, we aim to gain a better understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the development of blood cancers. By functionally mining the chromatin regulatory space, we further aim to provide new starting points by identifying novel drug targets. In this regard, our research focuses on two main lines:
1. To mine the chromatin regulatory space to identify novel drug targets that can either help improve current treatments or intercept disease at an early asymptomatic stage.
2. We study histones from the protein core of the nucleosome, particularly the variant macroH2A that led to two major discoveries: its major role in nuclear organization and its ability to bind metabolites through its mostly understood macrodomain, establishing a direct link between chromatin and metabolism.
Through our research, we hope to answer the following questions:
1. How do epigenetic mechanisms operate on the molecular level?
2. How do chromatin and, in particular, histone variants contribute to cell fate transitions?
3. How can we exploit this knowledge for the development of novel therapeutic strategies?