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Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development - Program in Genomics of Differentiation

Todd Macfarlan Lab

Todd Macfarlan PhD

Todd Macfarlan


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We use a multidisciplinary approach that combines genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology to explore fundamental mechanisms of gene regulation and epigenetic inheritance during embryo development. Furthermore, we are taking advantage of genetically engineered embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells which can be differentiated into specific cell types to model early cell fate decisions. These cells can be grown in huge numbers to allow biochemical interrogation of the epigenome.

Selected Publications

  • Macfarlan TS, Gifford WD, Driscoll S, Rowe HM, Bonanomi D, Lettieri K, Firth A, Singer O, Trono D, and Pfaff SL. Embryonic stem cell potency fluctuates with endogenous retrovirus activity. Nature in press. doi10.1038/nature11244.
  • Macfarlan TS, Gifford WD, Agarwal SA, Driscoll S, Lettieri K, Wang J, Andrews SE, Franco L, Rosenfeld MG, Ren B, and Pfaff SL. Endogenous retroviruses and neighboring genes are coordinately repressed by LSD1/KDM1A. Genes Dev. Published in Advance February 28, 2011. doi:10.1101/gad.2008511 PubMed
  • Pfaff, S.L. and Macfarlan, T. (2008) Transcriptional networks and the spinal cord. In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Book Chapter, Editor in chief L. R. Squire, 1093-1098.
  • Loomis RJ, Naoe Y, Parker JB, Savic V, Bozovsky MR, Macfarlan T, Manley JL, Chakravarti D. (2009) Chromatin binding of SRp20 and ASF/SF2 and dissociation from mitotic chromosomes is modulated by histone H3 serine 10 phosphorylation. Mol Cell. 2009 Feb 27;33(4):450-61. PMID: 19250906 PubMed
  • Macfarlan T, Parker JB, Nagata K, Chakravarti D. (2005) Thanatos-associated protein 7 associates with template activating factor-Ibeta and inhibits histone acetylation to repress transcription. Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Feb;20(2):335-47. Epub 2005 Sep 29. PMID: 16195249 PubMed