My interests lie in understanding epigenetic regulation of mammalian genomes during the earliest stages of mammalian development. Although brief in time, preimplantation development is an extremely dynamic period during which major epigenetic remodeling occurs and the very first cell fate decisions are made. These key biological processes require global, yet exquisitely precise chromatin remodeling and differential treatment of identical DNA sequence. We utilize various RNAi and knock-out approaches towards identification of genes that regulate these early epigenetic decisions that occur during oogenesis and preimplantation development.
Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic mechanism resulting in differential transcriptional activity between the two parental alleles. It is well established that differential chromatin structure accompanies this parent of origin gene expression. More specifically, DNA hypo/hyper-methylation, and core histone modifications (acetylation/methylation) differ between the active and silent alleles. Disruption of any one of these chromatin modifications may result in loss of imprinting at particular loci, making imprinted genes sensitive “reporters” of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. Our group is engaged in an RNAi based screen to identify novel epigenetic regulatory genes. We screen for loss of imprinting, defects in trophoblast/ICM differentiation, as well as developmental arrest and morphological abnormalities all within the same preimplantation embryos.
Learn more at www.vasci.umass.edu/research-faculty/jesse-mager
- PhD University of North Carolina
- Postdoctoral Training: University of Pennsylvania