The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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Kyle Miller
Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Main Office: NMS 4.306
Phone: (512) 471-5045

Alternate Office: NMS 4.262
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-5266

Mailing Address
Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin ,TX 78712-1191

Kyle Miller

Research Summary

DNA damage represents a formidable challenge to genome maintenance. To protect our genetic material, our cells have evolved multifaceted systems, collectively termed the DNA damage response (DDR), to detect and repair damaged DNA. It is clear that the true in vivo substrate of the DDR is not "naked" DNA but rather DNA assembled into chromatin. The structure and function of chromatin are regulated by histone modifications and chromatin modifying enzymes, which can markedly influence the DDR. Therefore, determining the interplay between the DDR and chromatin is fundamental for elucidating how cells maintain both epigenetic and genome integrity. The relevance of this research is highlighted by recent studies showing that mutations in many genes involved in the DDR and chromatin lead to cancer predisposition in humans. Therefore, we believe that deciphering the function of these pathways, both in normal and cancer cells, will contribute to the development of novel cancer therapies. Our research utilizes genetics, genomics, cell biology and molecular biology in both mouse and human tissue culture systems to gain insights into these areas of research. The lab also has interests in understanding anti-cancer drug mechanisms that function through DNA damage and chromatin. Many current drugs used in the clinic for cancer treatments act through DNA damage induction and pathways that regulate chromatin represent new targets for drug discovery. To explore this area of research, we employ a combination of chemical and molecular biology techniques to determine the in vivo interactions of small molecules (drugs) both at the cellular and molecular level. Taken together, the lab aims to engage in an active research program that applies a multifaceted and diverse approach to these questions in hopes of defining the relationship between chromatin and the DDR, as well as gaining insights into the mechanisms of cancer therapeutic drugs that act at the chromatin and DNA level.



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