I am interested in understanding how the epigenome ages, and how we can combat it. During development, epigenetic mechanisms help define cell identity through networks of chromatin organization and gene regulatory elements (e.g., promoters and enhancers). We theorize that over time, DNA damage leads to an accumulation of epigenetic noise that obscures the epigenetic landscape, ultimately breaking down cell type-specific gene expression patterns.
My goal is to focus on this Information Theory of Aging in the context of chromatin and gene regulatory elements to identify how the epigenetic landscape of the aged brain can be restored to a youthful state. To this end, I am working on identifying epigenetic noise hotspots by combining integrative multi-omics, as well as in vitro and in vivo reprogramming and CRISPRi methods.