Assistant Professor of Environmental Epigenetics
Ph.D., 2007, Harvard University
Genome Function and Environment Interaction
Finding balance in epigenetic systems
The relevance of environmental context to the expression of the genome is unequivocal. Environmental perturbations reshape biological networks, alter regulatory responses, and modulate the emergence of phenotypic variation and disease risk. Our laboratory pursues research themes in epigenetics and cellular memory.
The challenge is to understand and manipulate environmentally modulated genetic diseases. A wiser student likes to call them genetically modulated environmental diseases. Three complementary sets of research themes are being pursued. One set is centered on Y-chromosome heterochromatin and the biology of repetitious segments: their genetic and epigenetic variation, and manifold functional consequences. Another set of questions is centered on the systems biology of regulatory variation, epigenetic networks, and the dynamics of genotype-by-environmental interaction. A third set of questions addresses individual responses to the environment and the mechanisms through which environmental stress creates epi-alleles that are stable between generations.
We approach our research questions through careful genomic experimentation and integrative computational analyses. These are blended with rigorous genetic manipulations within a variety of environmental contexts.
Paredes S, Branco AT, Hartl DL, Maggert K, Lemos B. 2011. Ribosomal DNA deletions modulate genome-wide gene expression: “rDNA-sensitive” genes and natural variation. PLoS Genetics 7(4):e1001376.
Lemos B, Branco AT, Hartl DL. 2010. Epigenetic effects of polymorphic Y chromosomes modulate chromatin components, immune response, and sexual conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(36):15826-15831.
Lemos B, Araripe LO, Hartl DL. 2008. Polymorphic Y chromosomes harbor cryptic variation with manifold functional consequences. Science 319:91-93.
Lemos B. 2007. The opossum genome reveals further evidence for regulatory evolution in mammalian diversification. Genome Biology 8:223-226.
Landry¶ CR, Lemos¶ B, Rifkin SA, Dickinson WJ, Hartl DL. 2007. Genetic properties influencing the evolvability of gene expression. Science 317:118-121. ¶first two authors contributed equally
Lemos B, Meiklejohn CD, Caceres M, Hartl DL. 2005. Rates of divergence in gene expression profiles of primates, mice, and flies: stabilizing selection and variability among functional categories. Evolution 59(1): 126-137.