Bacterial Epigenomes: Technology, Pathogens and Microbiome

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Associate Processor, Genomics Department, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Biography

      Gang Fang is an Associate Professor in the Genomics Department at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also part of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. The Fang lab pioneered the fast growing field of bacterial epigenomics, and developed the foundational methods that enabled the effective use of Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing technology for direct detection of DNA modifications. Since 2012, his lab has characterized the epigenomes of hundreds of bacterial species, identifying novel epigenetic mechanisms regulating bacterial gene expression, virulence, biofilm formation and sporulation etc. Recently, his lab pioneered the use of DNA methylation for high resolution microbiome analysis. Dr. Fang received his PhD degree in University of Minnesota in 2012, his MS degree in University at Buffalo, 2007, and his BS degree in Fudan University, 2005. Dr. Fang received multiple awards including: Joint Mayo Clinic - IBM Research Traineeship (2007), Best Network Model Award, Sage Congress (2010), Walter Barnes Lang Fellowship (2011), Best Dissertation Award at University of Minnesota (2012), Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow (2013), Nash Family Research Scholar, Friedman Brain Institute (2016), Hirschl Research Award, Irma T. Hirschl Trust (2018).


    Abstract

    Prokaryotic DNA contains three types of methylation: N6-methyladenine, N4-methylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine. The lack of tools to analyse the frequency and distribution of methylated residues in bacterial genomes has prevented a full understanding of their functions. Now, advances in DNA sequencing technology, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing and nanopore-based sequencing, have provided new opportunities for systematic detection of all three forms of methylated DNA at a genome-wide scale and offer unprecedented opportunities for achieving a more complete understanding of bacterial epigenomes. Indeed, as the number of mapped bacterial methylomes approaches 2,000, increasing evidence supports roles for methylation in regulation of gene expression, virulence and pathogen–host interactions.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. What are the state of the art methods for mapping bacterial DNA methylation?

    2. How can we exploit bacterial DNA methylation to better understand bacteria and microbiome?


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