The goal of research in the Eisenman lab is to elucidate the molecular circuitry that underlies the behavior of normal as well as cancer cells. We have focused our attention on an evolutionarily conserved network of DNA binding regulatory proteins (transcription factors) whose expression and activities are highly responsive to changes in the cellular environment. This transcriptional network integrates cellular signals and acts to modulate gene expression programs. The MYC protein, one of the members of the network, is essential for normal animal development but when dysregulated is profoundly involved in the etiology of a wide range of cancers. Other members of the network antagonize or promote MYC function in different biological settings and can themselves act as tumor suppressors or oncogenic drivers.
The lab employs the tools of biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics and genetics to define the functions of the MYC network and the nature of the gene targets and cellular programs impacted by its normal and abnormal activities.