DPhil, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Project: The function of DNA modifications in cancer
Wenjun Huang studied for an undergraduate degree in Biology in China, and subsequently joined Prof. Kriaucionis’s group for her DPhil Studentship in October 2016.
What is your current research?
For my DPhil project, I’m interested in understanding the role of DNA modifications in normal and malignant haematopoiesis, and I’d like to illustrate the molecular mechanism of DNA modification function in cancer development.
Cytosine in DNA are chemically modified into 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC),5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). 5mC and 5hmC are stable modifications which are involved in gene regulation. Importantly, cancer cells display an abnormal DNA modification profile and develop the CpG island methylator phenotype, which could function as a biomarker for early detection and response to therapy.