The Glass Lab (left to right): Sam Carlson, Dr. Karen Glass, Mulu Lubula, Chiara Evans, Shivram Singh, and Sophia Kim

The Glass Lab (left to right): Sam Carlson, Dr. Karen Glass, Mulu Lubula, Chiara Evans, Shivram Singh, and Sophia Kim

Faculty Investigator: Karen Glass, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Science, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, UVM

Dr. Glass obtained her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA in 1999. She then gained her Ph.D. in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics from UVM in 2005 before becoming a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA with Dr. Harry Noller (2005-2006). After her California postdoc, she worked as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Colorado, Denver, CO with Dr. Tatiana Kutateladze (2006-2010) before coming to the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor in Pharmaceutical Science in 2010. In 2011, she became an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at UVM and recently joined the CMB program faculty.

The Glass Lab having pipettes of fun

The Glass Lab having pipettes of fun

~Samuel Carlson – Technician, Lab Manager
~Mulu Lubula – Graduate Student (ACPHS MSPS Program)
~Sophia Kim – PharmD Candidate, class of 2015
~Chiara Evans – Undergraduate Student
~Shivram Singh – Pre-pharmacy Student

Accepting rotation students: Yes

Major Research Projects:
The human genome is compacted into chromatin, allowing nearly three meters of DNA to fit into the small volume of the nucleus. Chromatin is composed of DNA and histone proteins, and this DNA-protein complex is the template for a number of essential cellular processes. For example, DNA transcription, replication and repair are regulated by the spatial organization of chromatin throughout the cell cycle, which can be manipulated by chromatin remodelers that alter specific chemical modifications on the histones and DNA. Understanding the role of chromatin remodeling proteins in transcriptional control is important as deregulation of gene expression (due to mutation or overexpression) can contribute to disease progression.

The Glass laboratory investigates how epigenetic mechanisms regulate diverse cellular activities. High field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and biochemical and molecular biology approaches are utilized determine the three-dimensional structures and functions of chromatin binding proteins implicated in human diseases such as leukemia, heart disease and cancer. Ultimately, these studies will lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets, more specific treatment strategies, and better overall outcomes for patients.

The current focus of the lab is to:

  1. Determine the role of the BRPF1 bromodomain in regulating the MOZ histone acetyltransferase in leukemogenesis.
  2. Characterize how MOZ interacts with RUNX1 in live cells to carry out its function, and identify genes it controls in normal blood cell development versus in the diseased state.
  3. Establish how ING PHD finger domains interact specifically with the unmodified and modified histone H3 tail, and understand how mutations in these tumor suppressor proteins are linked to cancer.

Exciting News in the Glass Lab:
In August 2014, Mulu Lubula will defend his MS thesis on the molecular basis of histone acetyllysine recognition by the BRPF1 bromodomain. Mulu had his abstract selected for an oral presentation at the 2013 VCC Symposium on Epigenetics and Cancer, and in February 2014 he gave a poster presentation at the Keystone Symposia on Cancer Epigenetics in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In April 2014, Amanda Poplawski (PharmD, class of 2013) had a paper published in the Journal of Molecular Biology.

Miranda Wells, Sophia Kim and Mulu Lubula traveled to Boston, MA in April of 2014 for the 13th Annual New England Science Symposium to present posters on their research.

In 2013, Dr. Glass was awarded a NIH R15 grant to study a unique double PHD finger and bromodomain in epigenetic signaling.

Check out more labs from our Lab Spotlight Series here!

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