Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Richard W. Baker, PhD

Dr. Baker seeks to understand the molecular mechanism of how large protein assemblies actively rearrange local areas of chromatin, acting as keystone regulators of gene expression. He focuses on the SWI/SNF family of proteins. Recent genomic studies have shown that nearly 20% of all tumors contain a mutation in SWI/SNF genes. Notably, these mutations frequently result in with aberrant or uncontrolled SWI/SNF activity, suggesting that they could be viable drug targets. He is utilizing novel microscopy techniques to probe the mechanism of SWI/SNF-mediated chromatin remodeling and determine the effects of oncogenic mutations on this reaction. Understanding their mechanism of action is a key step towards developing new therapeutics.

Project title: "Understanding the mechanism of SWI/SNF-mediated chromatin remodeling and its misregulation in cancer"
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Andres E. Leschziner, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Structural Biology