Functional Genomics Group

Transcription factors are sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins. The human genome contains over 1400 transcription factors that contribute to complex gene regulation and accurate control of cell growth. The aberrant expression of transcription factors may cause many diseases including cancer of the breast and prostate, Ewing's sarcoma and leukemia. It is of crucial importance to identify genome-wide chromatin locations of given transcription factors and understand their biological roles in disease progression.

The Functional Genomics laboratory led by Gonghong Wei is keeping close collaboration with other biostatistics and genomics groups in this consortium. The project is aiming to explore gene regulatory networks driven by the transcription factors in cancer cells and tissues, and to establish a systematic way to the discovery of novel mechanisms and clinical markers for cancer risk prediction and therapy. A focus is to uncover cancerous roles of several transcription factors including key members of ETS, HOX and Forkhead classes of DNA-binding proteins. Together with the data from genome-wide association studies, the team is also working on functional annotation of the cancer risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We will validate key findings including risk SNPs, enhancers and genes that are potentially to be prognostic and diagnostic markers for human cancer risk prediction and personalized cancer therapy.

Last updated: 11.2.2015