Cancer and Metabolism Epigenetics

The cancer epigenetics and metabolism program provides a forum to nucleate researcher at Penn studying interrelationships between chromatin state and cancer biology. Emerging evidence from this multidisciplinary group reveals that metabolic changes present in cancer cells not only affect energy balance and anabolic processes that support uncontrolled cellular proliferation during cancer, but also impact histone post-translational modifications and chromatin state. We seek to address fundamental questions regarding the mechanisms underlying these chromatin associated phenomena and how they influence transcription, DNA repair, cellular differentiation state, and other cancer phenotypes.

Director of Cancer & Metabolism Epigenetics Interest Group

Roger Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Cancer Biology; Director of Basic Science, Basser Center for BRCA Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute; J. Samuel Staub, M.D. Professor

Interest Group Members

Irfan A. Asangani, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Assistant Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Joseph A. Baur, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Physiology
Shelley L. Berger, Ph.D. Daniel S. Och University Professor Director, Epigenetics Institute Penn Integrated Knowledge Professor (PIK)
Brian C. Capell, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Robert Babak Faryabi, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
David M. Feldser Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology
Benjamin A. Garcia, Ph.D. Presidential Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics; Director of Quantitative Proteomics; John McCrea Dickson M.D. Presidential Professor
Alessandro Gardini, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Gene Expression and Regulation program (Wistar)
F. Bradley Johnson, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D., Ph.D. Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases; Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism; Chief of Endocrinology Division, Diabetes, and Metabolism
Arjun Raj, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Bioengineering
Kavitha Sarma, Ph.D. Wistar Institute Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Patrick Seale, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Junwei Shi, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Assistant Investigator of Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Rebecca A. Simmons, M.D. Hallam Hurt Professor in Neonatology
Kirk Wangensteen, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine
Kathryn E. Wellen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology
Hao Wu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Genetics
Rugang Zhang, Ph.D. Professor and Co-Program Leader, Gene Expression and Regulation Program


Proteome-wide acetylation dynamics in human cells. Kori Y, Sidoli S, Yuan ZF, Lund PJ, Zhao X, Garcia BA. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 31;7(1):10296.

Mitotic progression following DNA damage enables pattern recognition within micronuclei. Harding SM, Benci JL, Irianto J, Discher DE, Minn AJ, Greenberg RA.  Nature. 2017 Aug 24;548(7668):466-470. DOI: 10.1038/nature23470. Epub 2017 Jul 31 PMID: 28759889

Nuclear Acetyl-CoA Production by ACLY Promotes Homologous Recombination. Sivanand S, Rhoades S, Jiang Q, Lee JV, Benci J, Zhang J, Yuan S, Viney I, Zhao S, Carrer A, Bennett MJ, Minn AJ, Weljie AM, Greenberg RA, Wellen KE. Mol Cell. 2017 Jul 20;67(2):252-265.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.06.008. Epub 2017 2017 Jul 6. PMID:28689661

Histone Deacetylase 3 prepares brown adipose tissue for acute thermogenic challenge  Emmett MJ, Lim HW, Jager J, Richter HJ, Adlanmerini M, Peed LC, Briggs ER, Steger DJ, Ma T, Sims CA, Baur JA, Pei L, Won KJ, Seale P, Gerhart-Hines Z, Lazar MA.  Nature. 2017 Jun 22;546(7659):544-548. doi: 10.1038/nature22819. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


EBF2 transcriptionally regulares brown adipogenesis via the histone reader DPF3 and the BAF chromatin remodeling complex. Shapira SN, Lim HW, Rajakumari S, Sakers AP, Ishibashia J, Harms MJ, Won KJ, Seale P. Genes Dev. 2017 Apr 1;31(7):660-673. doi: 10.1101/gad.294405.116. Epub 2017 Apr 20. PMID:28428261

RNA Binding to CBP Stimulates Histone Acetylation and Transcription  Bose DA, Donahue G, Reinberg D, Shiekhattar R, Bonasio R, Berger SL.  Cell. 2017 Jan 12;168(1-2):135-149.e22. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.020. Epub 2017 Jan 12. PMID:28086087