Janssen lab

Center for Molecular Medicine

University Medical Center Utrecht

The Janssen group focusses on understanding the role of chromatin dynamics in safeguarding the genome. We use multi-disciplinary approaches, integrating fly genetics and epigenetics with cell biology and biochemistry.

Genetic instability is a major hallmark of cancer and causes the cells’ genetic make up to continuously change. One major player in the manifestation of genetic instability is DNA damage, which can be caused either by endogenous or exogenous insults.

The eukaryotic nucleus is a cellular compartment that is far from homogeneous. It contains a plethora of distinct chromatin domains, which differentially regulate the functions of the underlying DNA sequences. These chromatin domains are crucial to the normal development of organisms and are each associated with specific histone modifications and chromatin proteins that regulate gene activity as well as proper packaging of the DNA.

Our main goal is to understand how these diverse chromatin domains shape the cellular response to DNA damage and thereby maintain genetic stability.