Highlighted Research Projects


Cracking the Cell Nucleus: Visualizing the Higher Order Coding Structures of DNA


The NIH Common Fund’s 4D Nucleome program aims to understand the principles behind the three-dimensional organization of the nucleus in space and time (the 4th dimension), the role nuclear organization plays in gene expression and cellular function, and how changes in the nuclear organization affect normal development as well as various diseases.  One of the three initiatives awarded to UCSD— called Imaging Tools — involves Mark Ellisman, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences and director of the Center for Research on Biological Systems at UC San Diego, together with project lead Clodagh O’Shea, PhD, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The two institutions are creating genetically encoded metal nanoparticles and novel paints that will act as molecular beacons to light up genes of interest within the maze of DNA, enabling their structures to be visualized.