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Research

Research focus of our lab include two major areas:

  • Epigenetic regulation of childhood asthma and other common diseases.
  • Epigenetics, Environment, and Diseases

Epigenetic regulation of childhood asthma

We perform epigenome-wide and gene specific association studies to identify biomarkers for asthma and asthma severity in children. We mainly focus on DNA methylation, a covalent modification of DNA that is mitotically stable. We also use cell lines and animal models to study how Tet1, a DNA demethylase, regulates gene expression programs and contribute to childhood asthma.

Epigenetics, Environment, and Diseases

We are interested in studying how epigenetic mechanisms mediate the impact of environmental exposures during critical developmental windows on the risk of chronic common diseases including asthma. Exposures such as traffic-related air pollution can alter the epigenome, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin accessibility, resulting in increased susceptibility to asthma and other common diseases. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we aim to identify such changes and determine their possible contributions in disease pathogenesis.

Impact

Our research findings may lead to the development of personalized preventive and therapeutic strategies to reduce the burden of chronic diseases, especially in children.

Assistant Professor Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell biology School of Veterinary Medicine University of California, Davis California National Primate Research Center Office: 530-754-0679 Email: hgji@ucdavis.edu