Professor and Director Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics
Dr. Buck’s research is focused on uncovering how epigenetics and the microbiome regulate cellular events. Dr. Buck’s laboratory uses multiple model systems to uncover fundamental biological principles which are subsequently translated to the study of human disease.
Instructions controlling cellular functions are contained within DNA that is wrapped and packaged around proteins into chromatin. Chromatin can be modified in response to the environment and these modifications can be passed onto their daughter cells. These modifications act as a cellular memory and are known as epigenetic modifications. Changes in epigenetic modifications are essential players in many disease pathways including: cancer, diabetes, obesity, and autism. Dr. Buck’s research is focused on uncovering how epigenetic changes redirect regulatory proteins and how regulatory proteins read epigenetic modifications.
Our bodies are populated by a diverse and complex population of thousands of microbes, mostly bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and archaea, termed the human microbiota. This co-inhabiting microbial ecosystem has been associated with various human disease including colon cancer, diabetes, periodontal disease, and others. To understand how the microbiota is affecting human health the Buck lab has developed robust and reproducible high-throughput approaches to examine thousands of samples and are currently defining causal relationships between the microbiota and human health.