Events Calendar

Sarah Johnstone (Dana Farber): Deciphering the 3D cancer genome
Tuesday 28 September 2021, 12:00pm - 01:00pm
The interphase genome is non-randomly organized within the nucleus, and this spatial organization closely relates to gene expression programs.  Histopathologic evaluation of cancer nuclei has long-established that malignant nuclei have atypical morphology.  I will present work in colon cancer in which we map the 3D genome in primary tumors using topological genomics assays.  We show that colon cancer genomes have large-scale reorganization of the spatial genome.  These changes are tightly linked to DNA hypomethylation and surprisingly appear to promote tumor suppressive transcriptional programs.  This suggests that the spatial reorganization of the genome is a process through which tissues restrain malignant progression.  

Short bio: Sarah Johnstone is a physician-scientist and principle investigator at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  She obtained her Ph.D. in genetics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she studied transcriptional regulatory circuitry in early development in the lab of Dr. Richard Young.  Following her doctoral training, she obtained an M.D. at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where she also performed research on DNA methylation in cancer in the lab of Dr. Steve Baylin.  Following her degrees, she completed a residency in Anatomic Pathology and a fellowship in Gynecologic Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Pathology.  Her post-doctoral work in the lab of Dr. Bradley Bernstein at MGH described the first global topological maps in primary tumors and demonstrated the link between large-scale compartment shifts, DNA methylation and tumor suppressive transcriptional programs.  She recently joined the Dana Farber as a principle investigator and the Department of Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Her laboratory studies how epigenetic and topological structures changes in cancer and the impact of these changes on tumor phenotype.


Location : Virtual