Leadership


Sklar, Jeffrey L.

Professor of Pathology and of Laboratory Medicine

Professor of Pathology and of Laboratory Medicine; Director, Molecular Diagnostics Program; Director, Molecular Genetics Pathology Fellowship; Director, Molecular Tumor Profiling Laboratory; Director of Molecular and Genomic Pathology

Biography

Academic background:

Academic background:
B.A. (Biology) Haverford College
M.D. School of Medicine, Yale University
Ph.D. Molecular Biophysics/Biochemistry, Yale University
Residency, Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center
Post-doctoral Fellowship (Biochemistry), Stanford University

Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Pathology, Stanford University Sch of Med, 1981-89
Associate Professor to Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, 1989-2003
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Yale University Sch of Med, 2003-

Clinical interests: Molecular diagnostics.
Research Interests: Molecular biology of human disease, especially cancer; gene regulation; chromosome structure and chromosomal aberrations in human disease; trans-splicing of RNA; genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes; immunogenetics.

The lab is presently particularly interested in two genes, JAZF1 and JJAZ1/SUZ12, which we discovered to be fused in the cells of certain uterine tumors. JJAZ1 is a Polycomb group gene, the product of which is essential for histone methylations that regulate chromatin remodeling and activity. We have investigated how the JAZF1-JJAZ1 fusion functions in oncogenesis and found that its action has features not previously described in cancer. Recently, we discovered that JAZF1-JJAZ1 RNA is produced by hormonally regulated trans-splicing between the pre-mRNAs for the two genes in normal endometrium. This discovery has led us to explore other examples of recombination between RNAs, which is much more common than previously thought. Relative to JJAZ1, little is known about the function of JAZF1, although single nucleotide polymorphisms in this gene are associated with altered risk for type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer. We are currently investigating the mechanisms of these associations.

Selected publications:

Koontz JI, Soreng AL, Nucci M, Kuo FC, Pauwels P, van den Berghe H, Dal Cin P, Fletcher JA, Sklar J. Frequent fusion of the JAZF1 and JJAZ1 genes in endometrial stromal tumors. Proc Natl Acad of Sci USA 2001; 98: 6348-6353.

Li H, Ma X, Wang J, Koontz J, Nucci M, Sklar J. Effects of rearrangement and allelic exclusion of JJAZ1/SUZ12 on cell proliferation and survival. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104: 20001-20006.

Li H, Wang J, Mor G, Sklar J. A neoplastic gene fusion mimics trans-splicing of RNAs in normal cells. Science 2008; 321: 1357-1361.

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Members

Gao, Xiaobin

Graduate Student

Ma, Xian-Yong

Associate Research Scientist in Pathology

Research Interests:How do the key target proteins determine the status of cell differentiation and proliferation? How do the modifications of gene structure (DNA and core histone) cause global changes of gene expression pattern? My research employed multitude of molecular, cellular, physiological and bioinformatics techniques to investigate the molecular mechnisms and physiological function of interferon induced P202a, acute megakaryoblastic leukemia associated transcription factorRBM15, and Polycomb Repressive Group proteins SUZ12. The ongoing research topics including global interferes for binding pattern caused by fusion of polycomb protein JJAZ1 to transcription repressor JAZF1 and genome-wide exploration of cis regulatory regions bond with transcription factor JAZF1 using CHIP-sequencing analysis.

Wang, Jianhui

Associate Research Scientist in Pathology

Yang, Guangxiao

Associate Research Scientist in Pathology