Johnathan Whetstine, M.D., Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

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Johnathan Whetstine, M.D., Ph.D. – VAI Seminar Series

March 16 @ 12:00 pm EDT

Epigenetics: A gatekeeper to DNA replication, amplification and drug response

My laboratory studies how the chromatin microenvironment regulates gene expression while maintaining a stable genome. We have initiated these types of studies by focusing on a specific class of chromatin regulators, JmjC-containing histone demethylases. Since their discovery, my laboratory has been screening both solid and hematopoietic cancer for genomic anomalies in this class of enzymes. We have uncovered the first enzyme (KDM4A- histone tri-demethylase) responsible for generating site-specific DNA copy gain and are addressing the genomic features that are responsible for increasing the propensity of these regions to copy gain and rereplication during S phase. We are evaluating these aspects in tumors that have altered copy number and develop drug resistance. Our findings have prompted us to interrogate these same relationships with other chromatin/epigenetic modifiers (e.g., lysine methyltransferases and demethylases) and tumors drug response as well. Our discoveries have significant implications in understanding tumor copy number heterogeneity and drug response across cancers. These studies will be discussed during my seminar.

Speaker Information

Johnathan R. Whetstine, Ph.D.
Jack Schultz Basic Science Endowed Chair
Director, Cancer Epigenetics Institute
Program Co-leader Cancer Signaling and Epigenetics
Fox Chase Cancer Center

Time & Location

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
12:00 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom

Host: Xiaobing Shi, Ph.D.

Registration is free. To sign up, please email Courtney Zirkle at courtney.zirkle@vai.org. After registering, you will receive an email with the Zoom link and passcode. 


March 16
12:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States