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Vasily M. Studitsky, Ph.D.

Research Activities
Transcription is the first step in gene expression; the majority of genes are regulated at the levels of transcription initiation and/or elongation. Our research concentrate on analysis of the mechanisms and regulation of initiation and elongation of transcription by eukaryotic RNA polymerases using highly purified in vitro systems and complementary approaches in vivo.

All eukaryotic DNA is tightly condensed within small nuclei in nucleoprotein complexes called chromatin. It has become clear that chromatin is an ultimate player in eukaryotic transcription and therefore mechanisms involved in eukaryotic transcription and its regulation should be analyzed in context of properly assembled chromatin. Currently our research is developing in the following primary directions:

• Analysis of the mechanisms of transcript elongation through chromatin and its regulation.
• Analysis of the mechanisms of transcription initiation on chromatin templates, in particular mechanisms involved in chromatin remodeling.
• Analysis of the mechanisms of transcription regulation over a large distance: how eukaryotic enhancers and insulators work.

Since defects in gene regulation are leading causes of cancers and other human deseases, our research has direct implications for medicine. There are also very direct connections between players involved in chromatin remodeling and in cancerogenesis, as well as between numerous human diseases and transcript elongation.