Center for Epigenetics

Epigenetic mechanisms control how DNA is used, how organisms form, and how cells switch particular genes “on” or “off” to determine form and function. Errors in these intricate processes play major roles in the development of diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists in the Center for Epigenetics investigate the role of epigenetics in health and disease, with the goal of developing new prevention and treatment strategies for diseases that affect millions of people around the world.


Center Staff

Darrell Chandler, Ph.D.
Scientific grant writer

Recent Publications

Zhou W, Liang G, Molloy PL, Jones PA. 2020. DNA methylation enables transposable element-driven genome expansion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117(32):19359–19366.

Ohtani H … Jones PA, Grønbæk K. 2020. Activation of a subset of evolutionarily young transposable elements and innate immunity are linked to clinical responses to 5-azacytidine.  Cancer Res 80(12):2441–2450.

Smith JL…Triche Jr TJ…Meshinchi S. 2020. Comprehensive transcriptome profiling of cryptic CBFA2T3–GLIS2 fusion–positive AML defines novel therapeutic options: A COG and TARGET pediatric AML study. 2020. Clin Can Res.

Pfeifer GP, Szabó PE, Song J. 2020. Protein interactions at oxidized 5-methylcytosine basesJ Mol Biol 432(6):1718-1730.

Kupai A, Vaughan RM, Dickson BM, Rothbart SB. 2020. A degenerate peptide library approach to reveal sequence determinants of methyllysine-driven protein interactions. Front Cell Dev Biol.


March 2, 2020
Mark your calendars for the 2020 Origins of Cancer symposium!

Origins of Cancer is a one-day symposium that brings together students, scientists and medical professionals to discuss the latest breakthroughs in cancer research. This year’s meeting will highlight the tumor macroenvironment, which comprises near and far cells, tissues and systems that interact with primary cancer cells to promote tumor survival. Invited speakers also will discuss novel and integrative treatment approaches that target this larger interactome to outsmart cancer cells.

Learn more at originsofcancer.org. For questions or to be added to our email list, please contact Beth Resau at Beth.Resau@vai.org.

Feb. 28, 2020
Save the date for Epigenetics at VAI!

Epigenetics at VAI, is a bi-annual symposium and workshop hosted by Van Andel Institute, will be held Aug. 2–5, 2021. The theme for the 2021 symposium will be 20 Years of the Histone Code. For more information, please visit epigeneticsatvai.org. To be added to our scientific events email list, please email Beth Resau at Beth.Resau@vai.org.