Biología Celular y del Desarrollo
Lab 302 Ote
Tel. +52 55 5622 57 27
THE ENVIRONMENT AND EPIGENETICS LAB @ValdesLab_UNAM
Any phenotype emerges from the interaction between the environment and the genome that together shape the cell transcriptome. But the chromatin structure and its composition -the epigenome- also plays a fundamental role in orchestrating gene expression. The epigenetic modifications (e.g. DNA methylation or Histone PTM) are reversible and dynamic, making the epigenome a suitable substrate to integrate environmental signals adding flexibility to gene expression.
The goal of my lab is to understand how the epigenome is shaped by the environment and how then, the epigenome adds order to the highly complex system that is the cell. I am also particularly interested in studying how epigenetic disturbances contribute to the pathology and development of different diseases. To this end, we use different in vivo and in vitro models in conjunction with next generation sequencing, genomics and state of the art molecular biology techniques.
Key words: epigenetics, environment, diabetes, stem cells, Polycomb, lncRNAs
1. NEUROEPIGENETICS OF MEMORY AND LEARNING: Evolution has favored innate behaviors to promote survival, but at the same time, neuronal circuits must adapt in response to environment and experiences. We use the well-characterized chemosensory system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify epigenetic changes in the neurons after the animals are exposed to different environmental cues that induce changes in behavior. By using genome-wide methodologies on different transgenic worms we aim to elucidate the epigenetic contribution to memory and learning in animals.
2. EPIGENETICS OF DIABETES AND METABOLIC MEMORY: Diet, exercise and pharmacological treatment can allow to people with diabetes to achieve normal glucose levels. However, these patients still present higher incidences of diabetic complications; this phenomena is know as metabolic memory. In the same sense, offspring and mothers affected by gestational diabetes have a higher risk to develop obesity and diabetes years or even decades after birth. In my lab we are interested to elucidate the epigenetic contribution to the long-term complications of diabetes and metabolic memory in vitro and in vivo.
3. MECHANISMS OF POLYCOMB TARGETING IN STEM CELLS: The polycomb repressive complexes are major epigenetic remodelers involved in gene repression during development and cell differentiation. Intriguingly, polycomb repress a diverse set of genes in different cell types, but polycomb do not recognize a particular DNA sequence and in fact lacks DNA binding domains. Thus, in my lab we are interested in investigating the mechanisms operating to direct Polycomb to the different cell-specific targets in Embryonic Stem cells (mESC) and the differentiated progeny.
Instituto de Fisiología Celular (desde 2017)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Mount Sinai School of Medicine (2012-2017)
The Black Family Stem Cell Institute , New York City, USA
Doctorado en Ciencias Biomedicas 2012
Investigación Biomédica Básica
Instituto de Inv Biomedicas / Facultad de Medicina , UNAM
Última actualización: 07/08/2020