The molecular basis of DNA folding within interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes is one of the great mysteries of biology and has fascinated scientists for over a century. An increasing number of human diseases, from congenital limb malformations to cancers, such as glioma and leukemia, have been linked to DNA misfolding. To understand the pathophysiology of these diseases it is necessary to resolve this mystery.
We combine concepts and approaches from structural biology and biochemistry with methods and analytical tools from molecular biology and genomics to determine the structural and biochemical basis of chromatin folding and chromosome condensation. Our long-term goal is to contribute fundamental knowledge about the nature of DNA folding and elucidate general principles of chromatin structure and chromosome organization that will enable new insights into human disease processes and serve as a basis for developing targeted, precise therapeutics.