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Laboratory of Mammalian Genes and Development - Section on Genomic Imprinting
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Welcome to the Pfeifer Lab

We are part of the Program on the Genomics of Differentiation (PGD) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Maryland. Our research examines the biological functions and the regulated expression of a cluster of imprinted genes on the distal end of mouse chromosome 7. Imprinting is an unusual form of gene regulation, specific to mammals, in which expression of an allele is restricted according to parental origin. For example, there are some genes, like H19, that are expressed only when maternally inherited while the paternally inherited copy of H19 is always silent. For other genes, like Insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2), H19's immediate neighbor, it is the paternally inherited copy that is expressed. We seek to understand the molecular and genetic bases for genomic imprinting. How does each cell mark (or imprint) the alleles to distinguish maternal and paternal copies? How are these epigenetic marks maintained through cell division and differentiation? How do these epigenetic marks result in allele-specific activation and repression of gene expression? We approach these questions using a mouse model system and sophisticated genetic approaches.

Section on Genomic Imprinting
Program on the Genomics of Differentiation
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health
Building 6/Room 2B206
Bethesda, MD 20892-2716