John R. McCarrey, Ph.D.
Kleberg Distinguished University Chair in Cellular & Molecular Biology
Areas of Specialization
- Epigenetic Regulation of Cell Functions
- Mammalian Germ Cells and Stem Cells
Ph.D. in Genetics; University of California, Davis
M.S. in Genetics; University of California, Davis
B.S. in Animal Science; University of California, Davis
Research in Dr. McCarrey’s lab is centered on the development, differentiation, and epigenetic regulation of mammalian germ cells and stem cells, and on the role of the epigenome as a mediator of environmental effects. Experimental systems include mice, baboons, and other mammals. The lab is interested in 1) the potential for assisted reproductive technologies (e.g. IVF), adverse lifestyles (e.g. poor diet, lack of exercise), or environmental exposures (e.g. disruptive chemicals) to induce disease-causing epimutations in the sperm that are transmitted to a male’s offspring, 2) epigenetic specification and maintenance of spermatogonial stem cell fate, 3) maintenance of enhanced genetic integrity in germline and pluripotent cells, 4) regulation of gene expression in germ cells and stem cells, 5) X-chromosome activity or inactivity in germ cells, 6) epigenetic reprogramming during gametogenesis, and 7) developing the baboon as a nonhuman primate model for studies of stem cell-based therapies.
Opportunities exist for training in association with any of the research foci listed above. Specific technical approaches include bulk and single-cell analysis of gene expression by RNA-seq, gene regulation including transcription factor binding or histone modifications by ChIP-seq, DNA methylation by methyl-seq, chromatin accessibility by ATAC-seq, and promoter-enhancer interactions by HiC; derivation and culture of pluripotent stem cells including ES and iPS cells or germ cells to analyze transitions in cell fate in vitro; differentiation of pluripotent cells to form germ cells or specific differentiated somatic cell types; analysis of mutation frequencies using a mutation-reporter transgene; analysis of the impact of the environment on the germline epigenome (induction of epimutations).