Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Karole N. D'Orazio, PhD

Dr. D’Orazio studies how epigenetically silenced regions of condensed DNA known as heterochromatin are maintained upon cell differentiation. In eukaryotes, heterochromatin is hallmarked by specific epigenetic modifications, e.g., the addition of methyl groups at specific sites. Two major protein complexes, Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 and 2, are essential for creating and maintaining these modification sites during development. Although RNA has been found to interact with and modulate (both positively and negatively) the activities of these two complexes, the need for RNA decay at the modification sites remains unclear. Dr. D’Orazio aims to understand how RNA turnover regulates heterochromatin and what factors are involved in these processes. These studies will provide insight into heterochromatin alteration in diseases such as cancer.

Project title: "Epigenetic regulation through RNA decay"
Institution: Harvard Medical School
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Danesh Moazed, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Epigenetics