Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Brian B. Liau, PhD

DNA methyltransferase enzymes, responsible for adding methyl groups to DNA strands, are critical for controlling gene expression. These enzymes are often disrupted in cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but their regulation is not understood. One form of enzyme regulation, called allostery, involves a regulator molecule binding to an enzyme at a site other than its active site. Dr. Liau is pioneering approaches to explore allostery, specifically focusing on allosteric mechanisms that regulate DNA methyltransferase function. His research will shed light on the impact of cancer mutations on enzyme function and strategies to pharmacologically modulate their activity. The approaches developed will be broadly expanded to study other enzymes disrupted in cancer and leveraged with synthetic chemistry to enable therapeutics discovery.

Project title: "Investigating allosteric mechanisms regulating DNA methyltransferase enzymes"
Institution: Harvard University
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: Blood
Research Area: Chemical Biology