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Ph.D. Candidate:  Quinn J. MacPherson

Research Advisor:  Andrew J. Spakowitz

Date: Thursday, May21, 2020
Time: 10 am
Zoom Meeting Link:

Title: Polymer physics of chromatin condensation 



Because of its polymer mechanics, information-carrying sequence, and inter-monomer interactions, chromatin – DNA and associated proteins – displays phase behavior and structures that are both important for their biological roles in gene regulation and interesting from a theoretical polymer physics aspect. I will present the results of Monte-Carlo simulations of the organization of chromatin in the presence of the interaction between HP1 and H3K9me3.  This interaction causes the condensation of heterochromatin. The model is found to be capable of explaining features of Hi-C data and aid in the interpretation of ChIP-seq data. The increased chromatin density of heterochromatin compared to euchromatin is used to provide a physical explanation for the prevalence of peripheral heterochromatin. This work will be placed in relation to my other studies on semi-flexible polymer phase behavior.


May 21, 2020 - 10:00am