Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Stefan Niekamp, PhD

Dr. Niekamp [Dennis and Marsha Dammerman Fellow] studies how gene expression programs are regulated in normal and cancer cells. The ability to switch specific genes "on" and "off" is partly encoded by multiprotein complexes competing for access to target DNA sequences in chromatin structures. The relative distribution of these activating or repressive complexes along chromatin regulates gene expression, and a shift in the balance of these complexes is a hallmark of many cancers. Dr. Niekamp aims to determine how chromatin accessibility is achieved by the competition between activating and repressive complexes, and to understand how well-known cancer mutations disrupt the fine-tuned balance.

Project title: "Understanding the switch: Competition between chromatin remodeler and polycomb repressive complexes"
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital
Named Award: Dennis and Marsha Dammerman Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Robert E. Kingston, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics