Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Brian B. Liau, PhD

One form of enzyme regulation, called allostery, is critical for integration of different biochemical signals to modulate enzyme structure, activity and function. By combining chemical biology and genome-editing methods, Dr. Liau is pioneering approaches to explore allostery, specifically focusing on DNA methyltransferase enzymes. These enzymes are often disrupted in cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but their regulation is not understood. Identifying allosteric mechanisms that regulate DNA methyltransferase function 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