Song group | Chemical epigenetics
Our genome is not a static combination of four nucleobases; it contains epigenetic modifications that play crucial biological roles from development to pathogenesis. Epigenetics is based on complex, multi-layer regulatory networks involving DNA, histones and RNA. For example, on the genome level, 5-methylcytosine and the more recently discovered 5-hydroxymethylcytosine are crucial epigenetic marks that influence a broad range of biological functions, and the dysregulation of these are hallmarks of cancer. We combine various chemical biology and genome technologies to develop novel tools to analyse the epigenome. We then apply our tools to two main research areas: the use of epigenetic modifications in circulating cell-free DNA from the blood for non-invasive disease diagnostics including early detection of cancer, and understanding the contribution of epigenetic heterogeneity in cancer development.
<img src="https://www.ludwig.ox.ac.uk/images/research/chunxiao-research-image/@@images/7a85239e-23dc-45e2-836e-6898204104d7.png" title="chunxiao research image" width="480" data-src="https://www.ludwig.ox.ac.uk/images/research/chunxiao-research-image" alt="A schematic of the research themes in the Song lab. The central techniques of chemical biology and genome linked out to technology development, clinical applications and functional studies. The research topic of "epigenetic heterogeneity of tumor" links technology development and clinical applications. The research topic of "epigenetic-based diagnostics" links functional studies and clinical applications. The research topic of "dynamic interplay in epigenetics" links technology development and functional studies." class="image-center" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a title="" href="https://www.ludwig.ox.ac.uk/research/chunxiao-song-group-page/chunxiao-song-group-page/research-areas" target="_self">Find out more about research in the Song lab.</a></p>