The Team
  • Researchers

    Thomas SEXTON

  • Post-Doctoral Fellows

    Natalia SIKORSKA

  • PhD Students

    Nezih KARASU

    Angeliki PLATANIA

  • Engineers & Technicians


Functional genomics and cancer

Spatial organisation of the genome

logo ERC

Research in our group is focussed on understanding the relationship between the three-dimensional folding of the genome and its functional outputs such as gene transcription. Previous research from group members has shown that the genome is organised into distinctly folded modules, or “topological domains”, which closely mirror the patterns of epigenetic marks (e.g. histone modifications) on the underlying chromatin fibre. This suggests an intimate relationship between gene expression and chromosome folding, although it is unclear if chromatin structure is a cause or consequence of gene activity. Using T cell development and mouse ES cells as model systems, we study the genomic conformations throughout the large-scale epigenetic and gene expression changes accompanying cellular differentiation. We aim to assess if, and how, chromosome folding can influence transcription. Our work will show how programmes of genes can be co-ordinately regulated, but will also provide insights into pathologies such as cancers, and by engineering autonomous chromatin domains, may also provide tools for gene therapy.


High resolution view

High-resolution view of topological domains flanking the Bcl6 gene in mouse thymocytes (figure from Y. Ben Zouari and S. Chahar).


Research in the Sexton group is supported by funds from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Starting Grant 678624 - CHROMTOPOLOGY)

Imprimer Envoyer

Université de Strasbourg

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