Carl Wu

Johns Hopkins University


Election Year: 2006
Primary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Secondary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Carl Wu joined Johns Hopkins University in 2016 as Bloomberg Distinguished Professor with appointments in the Department of Biology, and the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. He received his PhD in Biology at Harvard University and did post-doctoral work as a Harvard Junior Fellow. He was a Principal Investigator at the National Cancer Institute for 30 years, and a member of the Transcription Imaging Consortium at HHMI-Janelia (2012-2016).

Research Interests

I am interested in the organization and function of chromatin, in particular, how chromatin regulates eukaryotic gene expression. Nucleosomes, the fundamental structures of chromatin fibers, restrict gene accessibility by the wrapping of DNA over histone protein octamers. We are exploring how genes are dynamically unmasked or mobilized by ATP-driven, multi-protein chromatin 'remodeling' enzymes, and the physiological significance of this process. We use a primarily biochemical approach, and have recently been studying the mechanism by which chromatin remodeling enzymes mobilize both the canonical histones and histone variants, thereby modulating gene expression in eukaryotes. Recently, we have also begun to investigate the centromeric histone variant that mediates the formation of the chromosome kinetochore.

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