Assistant Professor, Gene Expression Laboratory
A.B., Princeton University
Ph.D., University of California San Diego
M.D., University of California San Diego
The Dixon lab is interested in how the spatial organization of genomes affects the acquisition and impact of mutations in cancer. Our genomes are 3 billion base pairs in length and must be compacted into the nucleus of every cell in our body. How our genomes are organized in cells has a major impact on diverse processes, from the expression of genes to the replication of DNA as cells divide. In cancer, our genomes are bombarded with mutations, some of which break and shuffle the genomes creating a mosaic of how these genomes appear in healthy cells. When our genomes are shuffled in cancer cells, this often can place cancer-causing genes in novel environments with altered spatial organization, which can lead to aberrant gene activation that drives the growth of cancer cells. We are interested in understanding where and when such altered gene regulation events occur and understanding what critical factors facilitate altered gene activation in cancer genomes.