The main interest of the Ji Lab is to elucidate the epigenetic basis of normal cellular development and chronic disease such as asthma. Specifically we are interested in understanding the
epigenetic mechanisms underlying heterogeneous asthma phenotypes and mediating
the impact of environmental exposures on disease risk. As the director of the pyrosequencing lab, Dr. Ji is also in collaboration with multiple PI to identify epigenetic biomarkers for other diseases such as cancer and to develop epigenetic diagnostic tools.
Currently, we are focused on understanding the epigenetic mechanisms underlying different treatment response of children hospitalized for asthma. We are also investigating how diesel and other exposures modify epigenome and asthma risk. The approaches we have taken include human population studies and in vitro cell models such as pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and primary cells. The human population study is a collaborative effort of multiple research groups including Dr. Melinda Butsch Kovacic, Dr. Jocelyn Biagini Myers, Dr. Gurjit Hershey and Dr. Patrick Ryan. We also work with Dr. James Wells and Dr. Christopher Mayhew’s group to generate iPSCs from patient samples and use them for research purposes. In addition, we are focused on understanding the epigenetic mechanisms that underline the differentiation and function of dendritic cells in collaboration with Dr. Edith Janssen’s group.
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