Epigenetic processes are central to every aspects of cell biology. Our laboratory is interested in fundamental questions of how the interactions between proteins and chromatin shape gene expression, how post-translational modification of chromatin determines the structure of the chromosomes and how mutations related to cancers such as leukemia sabotage epigenetic processes. The roots of our research program are in the power of x-ray crystallography. This technique helps us gain insights into the structures of chromatin-interacting proteins at high resolution and therefore provides solid basis for the designs of novel therapeutic molecules. When combining x-ray crystallography with other in vitro and in vivo techniques, we can relate the shape of proteins to their functions in solution and in a cancer cell environment. Overall, our research will lead to a better understanding of how epigenetic processes contribute to various human diseases and will have a positive influence in a clinical setting.
The Couture lab supervises students from graduate programs in Biochemistry and Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences.
Lab website: http://www.chromatin-xray.com/