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Center for Cancer Epigenetics

The Center for Cancer Epigenetics (CCE) brings together faculty members focused on epigenetics, the study of heritable and acquired changes that affect gene expression and cellular differentiation without DNA sequence alteration. The CCE is directed by Sharon Dent, Ph.D.

Epigenetic changes are now thought to be just as important as gene mutations in cancer development. The ultimate goal of the center is to define the full spectrum of epigenetic changes that occur in cancers, to discover the molecular causes of these changes, and to translate that newly gained knowledge into the clinic in the form of novel, epigenetic-based therapies. Members of the center include faculty from several basic research and clinical departments at MD Anderson, including our Smithville campus, as well as Baylor College of Medicine. Information and ideas are exchanged through weekly seminars and a monthly Distinguished Lecturer Series. For more information about our research programs, use the faculty link on this page, then click on each member's name to see individual research interests.

What is Epigenetics? (pdf)


CCE Scholars Program

The Center for Cancer Epigenetics Scholar Program provides one year of salary support to outstanding Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows working in the laboratories of CCE faculty members. 

2013-2014 Postdoctoral CCE Scholars:

  • Dr. Tara Dobson (Dr. Gopolakrishnan, mentor)
    Project: Epigenetic Basis of Leptomeningeal Disease in Medulloblastoma
  • Dr. Hillary Graves (Dr. J. Tyler, mentor)
    Project: Discovering the Functions of Globular Domain H3 Histone Modifications In Vivo
  • Dr. Na Li (Dr. M-G Lee, mentor)
    Project: The Function of the H3K4 Demethylase JARID1d in Prostate Cancer
  • Dr. Swarnalatha Manickavinayaham (Dr. D. Johnson, mentor)
    Project: Role of E2F1 and p300/CBP in DNA Double-Strand Break Repair
  • Dr. Yunxiang Mu (Dr. K. McBride, mentor)
    Project: Role of Cytidine Deaminases in DNA Demethylation
  • Dr. Xi Zhang (Dr. X. Shi, mentor)
    Project: Regulation of Estrogen Receptor-Mediated Gene Expression by Dynamic Lysine Methylation

2013-2014 Ph.D. Student CCE Scholars:

  • Zeynep Coban (Dr. M. Barton, mentor)
    Project: Loss of Hepatocyte Differentiation During Liver Regeneration in the Absence of p53
  • Sitraram Gayatri (Dr. M. Bedford, mentor)
    Project: Developing Small Molecule Inhibitors of Epigenetic Effector Molecules
  • Kaushik Thakkar (Dr. M. Barton, mentor)
    Project: Understanding the Mechanism of TRIM24-Mediated Breast Carcinogenesis
  • Jaime Veland (Dr. T. Chen, mentor)
    Project: Identifying Regulators of Dnmt1, the Maintenance DNA Methyltransferase
  • Ping Ping Wang (Dr. J. Tyler, mentor)
    Project: Proteomic Identification and Functional Characterization of Novel Proteins and Post-translational Modifications (PTMs) Localized at a DNA Double-Strand Break (DSB) During Repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

2013-2014 Pilot Project Awards

  • Ana Aparicio, M.D.
  • Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe, Ph.D.
  • Min Gyu Lee, Ph.D.
  • Kunal Rai, Ph.D.
  • Hong Wen, Ph.D.

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center