Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health
130 DeSoto Street, 4129, Pittsburgh, PA 15621
Primary Phone: 967-838-8458
Web site: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0663-9820
My current research focuses on deciphering how environmental pollutants/allergen and dietary factors alter the epigenome via DNA de/methylation and induce chromatin remodeling, leading to complex diseases like asthma, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea and cancer. My lab focus on the investigation of the epigenetic alterations in the development of allergic asthma utilizing an experimental asthma model and state-of-the-art methylation profiling technologies Our recent work has identified a previously unrecognized role for DNA hydroxymethylation in airway hyperresponsiveness and asthma.
Results from the epigenetic studies in laboratory can be further validated in populations. For example, many epidemiological studies showed the association between environmental exposure and complex diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, asthma and cancer. With a team of collaborators, I have extended my work to identify the relationship between the inter-individual epigenetic variations and disease risk. My lab has been participating in several human cohort studies which are currently funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH). Therefore, my long-term goal is to apply innovative and promising epigenetic approaches to understand the underlying mechanisms by which epigenetic changes may contribute to common diseases. Our findings may lead to the development of improved preventive measures and therapeutic strategies to reduce the burden of chronic diseases. Also, translating our scientific findings into human may provide proper disease management and lifetime recommendations to the public.