We aim to understand the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate cell fate decisions and cancer.
Chromatin Dynamics in Stem Cells and Cancer Lab
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cancer Epigenetics ProgramUniversity of Miami-Miller School of Medicine
Latest news from the lab
* Our paper on H3K36M in head and neck cancer has been accepted for publication in Genes and Development! - January 2024
* Thanks BCRF for the award! First grant of 2024 - January 2024
* Congratulations Lili on your PhD!!! - June 2023
* Thanks METAvivor for funding our application to study metastatic breast cancer! - January 2023
* Paper accepted in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology! Bravo Lili! - October 2022
* New NIH R01-NIGMS grant! We will investigate how alterations on H3K36 methylation affect oral cancers! - August 2022
* New NIH R01-NIGMS grant to study the role of PRC1 in advanced breast cancer! - January 2022
* New paper accepted in NAR! Way to go Eric! - August 2022
* New review published in Nature Communications! - April 2022
* New Science Advances paper is out! - June 2020
* We got a new grant! Thanks V Foundation for your support! - April 2020
* New grant! William G. “Bill” Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program - March 2020
Epigenetic mechanisms in breast cancer and head and neck cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed maladies in women. It is projected that in 2020 more than 270,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US. Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease originating from the basal and luminal cells of the mammary glands. Each of these subtypes has different risk factors for disease incidence, response to treatment, risk of progression, and preferential organ sites of metastases. Therefore, understanding the specific molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that control the oncogenic pathways deregulated in the different subtypes of breast cancer is crucial for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Chromatin architecture in stem cells and cancer
Chromatin structure is emerging as an important regulator of gene expression, cell fate determination and cancer progression. We are investigating the chromatin dynamics imposed by Polycomb complexes in stem cells and cancer models
Stem cell differentiation and modeling of human developmental diseases
The potential to generate specific cell types capable of replacing damaged or aged human tissue is the vision of regenerative medicine. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) hold promise to fulfill this vision, as they display the potential to differentiate into any specific cellular lineage. Despite tremendous advances, the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that control hiPSCs pluripotency and cellular fate decisions remain poorly defined. We and others demonstrated previously that Polycomb-group proteins (PcG) orchestrate cell fate decisions and pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). However, the mechanisms whereby Polycomb proteins control pluripotency in human cells and drive stem cell differentiation into distinctive cell types remain largely unknown.
Recent selected publications
Methylation of histone H3 lysine 36 is a barrier for therapeutic interventions of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
Genes and Development, 2024
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 2023
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 2022
Epigenetic mechanisms in breast cancer therapy and resistance
Nature Communications, 2021
The Polycomb protein RING1B enables estrogen-mediated gene expression by promoting enhancer-promoter interaction and R-loop formation
Estrogen induces dynamic ER and RING1B recruitment to control gene and enhancer activities in luminal breast cancer.
Science Advances, 2020
Emerging Roles for Polycomb-Group Proteins in Stem Cells and Cancer
Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 2019
Polycomb complexes associate with enhancers and promote oncogenic transcriptional programs in cancer through multiple mechanisms
Nature Communications, 2018
The Polycomb group protein CBX6 is an essential regulator of embryonic stem cell identity
Nature Communications, 2017
3D structures of individual mammalian genomes studied by single-cell Hi-C.
Loss of Asxl2 leads to myeloid malignancies in mice
Nature Communications, 2017
Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b Associate with Enhancers to Regulate Human Epidermal Stem Cell Homeostasis.
Cell Stem Cell, 2016
Ho Lam Chan
Two NIH-funded post-doctoral positions
The Chromatin Dynamics in Stem Cells and Cancer Lab headed by Dr. Lluis Morey is seeking for two post-doctoral scientists to work on projects related to epigenetic mechanisms deregulated in breast and head and neck cancers. More specifically, we are interested on:
Identification of epigenetic determinants of chemotherapy and immunology response in cancer.
To define the roles of individual Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) subunits in cancer.
Crosstalk between the oncohistone H3K36M and genome instability.
Role of Polycomb complexes in resistance to current cancer therapies.
Role of PRC1 in human development.
These projects require multi-omics approaches including PERTURB-seq, single cell technologies, chromatin accessibility and ChIP-seq assays. Biochemistry and mass spectrometry will be also key for the successful completion of the projects. Model systems include cancer cell lines, human and mouse ESCs, patient derived organoids (PDxO) and orthotopic xenograft models.
The Morey lab is a member of the Cancer Epigenetics program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC) and the Human Genetics Department (HDG) at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. SCCC is the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida, and the HDG is ranked number 2 in the US based on funding from NIH.
Qualifications and key requirements: Applicants must hold a PhD degree in life sciences. Experience in molecular biology, epigenetics, and cancer. Proficient English, excellent communication, and strong collaborative skills. Candidates are expected to be self-motivated research scientists driven by scientific curiosity and proactive in developing their projects.
Salary: A competitive salary will be offered depending on experience (e.g., years after receiving their PhD).
How to apply: Applicants should send a full CV with a description of their past experiences and a brief motivation of interest for this position to email@example.com
Lluis Morey Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ZmgKj34AAAAJ&hl=en
Caeiro L, Nakata Y,….Morey L. “Methylation of histone H3 lysine 36 is a barrier for therapeutic interventions of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”. Genes and Development. 2024 (in press).
Garcia-Martinez L,…Morey L. “Endocrine resistance and breast cancer plasticity are controlled by CoREST”. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2022.
Zhang Y,…Morey L. “The Polycomb protein RING1B enables estrogen-mediated gene expression by promoting enhancer–promoter interaction and R-loop formation”. NAR, 2021
Zhang Y,…Morey L. “Estrogen induces dynamic ERα and RING1B recruitment to control gene and enhancer activities in luminal breast cancer”. Science Advances, 2020.
Chan HL,…Morey L. “Polycomb complexes associate with enhancers and promote oncogenic transcriptional programs in cancer through multiple mechanisms”. Nature Communications, 2018.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
1501 NW 10th Ave
Miami, Miami-Dade County 33136