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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Metrology for Epigenetics

Location

Material Measurement Laboratory, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

RO# Location
50.64.41.B8574 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
He, Hua-Jun hua-jun.he@nist.gov 301-975-8518

Description

Methylation of CpG sites is an epigenetic modification and plays critical roles in many biological processes, including genomic imprinting, cell-fate determination, chromatin architecture organization, and regulation of gene expression. Aberrant DNA methylation has been observed in cancer and neurological disorders. However, investigation of the functional significance of these DNA methylations remains a challenge due to lack of appropriate molcular tools that enable efficient editing of DNA methylation in a targeted manner. Moreover, it is missing accurate DNA Methylation biomarkers for the conclusive cancer diagnosis and potentially as therapeutic targets due to lack of reliable and quantifiable analysis of DNA methylation in specific loci as well. The development of specific genome editing technologies leads to the emerging of epigenetic editing, which now allows the epigenetic editing at specific loci and enables direct study of functional relevance of precise epigenetic modifications and gene regulation. The reversible nature of epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, has already been exploited in cancer therapy for remodeling the aberrant epigenetic landscape, hold great promise as anti-cancer agents. To fulfill the epigenetic editing potential for scientific and clinical breakthroughs, an accurate and reliable measurement for DNA methylation which is not only for its function study but also for cancer biomarker development, is highly desired.

Potential projects could include the development and application of new methods for DNA methylation measurements, identification of cancer driver DNA methylations, and the use of novel epigenetic editing methods to alter the DNA methylation patterns in genes associated with cancer development. 

Keywords:
Epigenetics; Epigenetics editing; Biology; Molecular; Genome editing; DNA methylation; Reference materials; Cancer biomarker; Precision medicine

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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