Alison Lanctot Chomiak, Ph.D.

Ali Lanctot Chomiak, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Rothbart Laboratory


Dr. Ali Lanctot Chomiak is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Scott Rothbart at Van Andel Institute, where she studies the epigenetic regulator UHRF1 in colon cancer. She graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College with a B.S. in biology before earning a certificate in management for scientists and engineers and a Ph.D. in biomedical and life sciences from Northwestern University. While in the lab of Dr. Yuanyi Feng at Northwestern, Dr. Chomiak determined that the loss of the signaling modulator Brap interferes with the cell cycle and impedes differentiation of neural progenitor cells. She joined the Rothbart Lab in 2016 and, in 2018, earned a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award from the National Cancer Institute, a highly competitive three-year award that supports her research into the mechanisms underlying colon cancer.


Current research focus

DNA methylation is frequently misregulated in cancer, with colon cancer exhibiting an especially high level of aberrant methylation. Dr. Chomiak’s work centers on how methylation patterns are established, with a special focus on the protein UHRF1, a key regulator of this process that often is overexpressed in colon cancers. Understanding how and why this occurs has significant implications for designing more effective and more targeted cancer therapies.

Education & Training

Ph.D. in biomedical and life sciences, Northwestern University (Advisor: Yuanyi Feng, Ph.D.)
Thesis: Investigation into the mechanism of Brap in determining the quantity and genomic quality of cerebral cortical neurons

Certificate in management for scientists and engineers, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

B.S. in biology (summa cum laude), Hillsdale College

Awards & External Funding

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award (F32), National Cancer Institute (2018–2021)


To view a list of selected publications click below.

Read More

Fan H, Atiya HI, Wang Y, Pisanic TR, Wang TH, Shih IM, Foy KK, Frisbie L, Buckanovich RJ, Chomiak AA, Tiedemann RL, Rothbart SB, Chandler C, Shen H, Coffman LG. 2020. Epigenomic reprogramming toward mesenchymal-epithelial transition in ovarian-cancer-associated mesenchymal stem cells drives metastasis. Cell Rep 33(10):108473.

Dickson BM, Tiedemann RL, Chomiak AA, Cornett EM, Vaughan RM, Rothbart SB. 2020. A physical basis for quantitative ChIP-sequencing. J Biol Chem.
*Selected as an Editor’s Pick and featured on the cover

Lanctot AA, Guo Y, Le Y, Edens BM, Nowakowski RS, Feng Y. 2017. Loss of Brap results in premature G1/S phase transition and impeded neural progenitor differentiation. Cell Rep 20(5):1148–1160.

Houlihan SL*, Lanctot AA*, Guo Y, Feng Y. 2016. Upregulation of neurovascular communication through filamin abrogation promotes ectopic periventricular neurogenesis. eLife 5:e17823.
*Co-first authors

Lanctot AA, Peng CY, Pawlisz AS, Joksimovic M, Feng Y. 2013. Spatially dependent dynamic MAPK modulation by the Nde1-Lis1-Brap complex patterns mammalian CNS. Dev Cell 25:241–255.

Allen SA, Clark W, McCaffery JM, Cai Z, Lanctot AA, Slininger PJ, Liu ZL, Gorsich SW. 2010. Furfural induces reactive oxygen species accumulation and cellular damage in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnol Biofuels 3:2.

Berning EJ, Bernhardson N, Coleman K, Farhat DA, Gushrowski CM, Lanctot AA, Maddock BH, Michels KG, Mugge LA, Nass CM, et al. 2013. Ethanol- and/or taurine-induced oxidative stress in chick embryos. J Amino Acids 240537.