Associate Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Keith Maggert, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, has received a prestigious Transformative Research Award (TRA) and a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund his research program, “Induced Transgenerational Inheritance Without Epigenetics.” Investigators previously have attempted to use drugs that target epigenetics to treat diseases. Dr. Maggert’s work demonstrates why these treatments, in general, largely have been ineffective and in some cases even toxic. With the knowledge gained by this research, Dr. Maggert will seek to identify new and effective treatments for epigenetic diseases, such as cancer.
Many cancer cells - as cause or consequence of their disease state - undergo hypermutation and genomic instability. Dr. Maggert's laboratory is interested in how and why these events occur, and how they enable cancer development and progression. They focus on the repetitive ribosomal RNA genes to understand how epigenetic inheritance, gene regulation, and genome stability are linked together such that defects in one result in defects in the others.
The Maggert Lab investigates how gene regulation is affected by chromosome structure and how gene expression influences genome stability. They have recently examined the impacts of rDNA copy number and its regulation in Drosophila melanogaster.
Aldrich, J. C., and K. A. Maggert, "Transgenerational inheritance of diet-induced genome rearrangements in Drosophila.", PLoS Genet, vol. 11, issue 4, pp. e1005148, 2015 Apr. PMCID: PMC4401788 PMID: 25885886
Deans, C., and K. A. Maggert, "What do you mean, "epigenetic"?", Genetics, vol. 199, issue 4, pp. 887-96, 2015 Apr. PMCID: PMC4391566 PMID: 25855649
Aldrich, J. C., and K. A. Maggert, "Simple quantitative PCR approach to reveal naturally occurring and mutation-induced repetitive sequence variation on the Drosophila Y chromosome.", PLoS One, vol. 9, issue 10, pp. e109906, 2014. PMCID: PMC4186871 PMID: 25285439
Maggert, K. A., "Genetics: polymorphisms, epigenetics, and something in between.", Genet Res Int, vol. 2012, pp. 867951, 2012. PMCID: PMC3335516 PMID: 22567405
Paredes, S., A. T. Branco, D. L. Hartl, K. A. Maggert, and B. Lemos, "Ribosomal DNA deletions modulate genome-wide gene expression: "rDNA-sensitive" genes and natural variation.", PLoS Genet, vol. 7, issue 4, pp. e1001376, 2011 Apr. PMCID: PMC3080856 PMID: 21533076