Organic Chemistry Seminar
Abstract: A paradox of modern biology is that while metabolism is known to influence epigenetic signals (including, but not limited to histone acetylation), the specific proteins that sense these metabolic cues remain uncharacterized. Here we describe the utility of chemical methods to discover novel epigenetic mechanisms and characterize their metabolic regulation. Our initial studies have led to the identification of novel metabolic inhibitors of histone acetyltransferases, an expanded landscape of regulatory acetylation in gene expression control, and new signaling functions of the covalent oncometabolite fumarate. Through our efforts, we aim to define novel biological pathways which influence the development, progression, and treatment of cancer.
Bio: Dr. Meier received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Creighton University in 2004, getting introduced to research as an National Science Foundation REU student. Following graduation he moved to the University of California-San Diego, performing graduate research in natural products biochemistry and proteomics under the mentorship of Professor Michael D. Burkart. After receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry in 2009, he moved to the California Institute of Technology. His research as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Peter B. Dervan focused on the development of high-throughput sequencing methods to analyze small molecule-DNA interactions. In 2013, Dr. Meier joined the NCI, where his research focuses on the development of synthetic probes to investigate metabolic and epigenetic signaling pathways in cancer.