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Kerppola Lab Graduate Student / Thesis Research

We welcome UM graduate students to undertake research rotations in the laboratory with the goals to learn about our laboratory and our research and to explore the possibility of pursuing a thesis research as part of an M.S. or a Ph.D. training program.  We participate in many departmentally based and interdepartmental graduate training programs and we will develop your research project based on the mutual interests of you, the Kerppola lab and your training program.  Examples of research areas with opportunities to develop rotation and thesis projects in the Kerppola lab include:
  1. Interactions among transcription regulatory proteins mediate the combinatorial regulation of gene expression.  We have developed a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays for visualization of protein interactions and modifications in living cells and animals. These approaches provide the opportunity to investigate the cell-type and tissue-specificity of protein interactions and modifications in their normal cellular environments. For more information, please see Deng, H. and T. Kerppola, Visualization of dKeap1-CncC interaction on chromatin illuminates xenobiote-specific gene activation. Development  141: 3277-3288, doi: 10.1242/dev.110528, 2014.  PMID: PMC4197530
  1. Epigenetic regulatory protein complexes maintain and control transitions between different cellular states.  We have developed methods for visualization and characterization of epigenetic regulatory complex binding to chromatin in living cells.  These methods provide the opportunity to investigate the mechanisms that establish and interpret the epigenetic state critical for stem cell maintenance.  For more information, please see Cheng, B., X. Ren, and T.K. Kerppola, KAP1 represses differentiation-inducible genes in embryonic stem cells through cooperative binding with PRC1 and derepresses pluripotency-associated genes. Molecular and Cellular Biology 34: 2075-2091, doi: 10.1128/MCB.01729-13. 2014. PMCID: PMC4019052
  1. Many cancers have complex genetic and epigenetic causes.  We are pursuing new strategies for the development of therapies for rare cancers whole molecular causes have not been identified.  These strategies are based on the investigation of candidate drugs that have favorable pharmacological and toxicological characteristics in animals.   These strategies provide the opportunity to develop new therapies for patients who have no effective treatment options currently. For more information, please see Deng, H and Kerppola, TK.  CncC and dKeap1 xenobiotic regulators interact on chromatin and coordinate Drosophila metamorphosis. PLoS Genetics e1003263, doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003263. 2013.  PMCID: PMC3567155

Prospective graduate students who are interested in applying for admission to an M.S. or Ph.D. training program with the possibility of pursuing thesis research in our laboratory are encouraged to submit an application through the Program in Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program, the Program in Chemical Biology Ph.D. Program, the M.S. in Biochemistry Program or the M.S. in Cancer Chemical Biology Program.