Bradley R. Cairns, PhD
Senior Director of Basic Science, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Co-Chair and Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences
Bradley Cairns, PhD, is the Senior Director of Basic Science, co-chair and professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah School of Medicine and an investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute. He is a member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program. He holds a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professorship in Cancer Research.
Dr. Cairns lab is interested in how chromatin structure helps regulate gene expression, an issue of central importance in cell growth, development, and cancer biology. We address and approach this broad issue in several ways. First, we purify and characterize large protein complexes that remodel and modify chromosome structure to understand their contributions to gene expression. We are also interested in epigenetics - how chromatin structure and DNA methylation/demethylation dynamics are utilized in germ cells to poise the genome for development, and in embryos to guide developmental and growth control processes. We use genetic, biochemical and genomic methods to address these problems, and utilize yeast, zebrafish, and human cells as experimental systems. Discoveries from his laboratory have appeared in many scientific journals, including Nature, Cell, Molecular Cell, Genes and Development, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Cairns received his PhD in cell biology from Stanford University in 1991 and received a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Cancer Society to continue his studies. In 1996, he initiated postdoctoral studies in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School as a fellow of the Leukemia Society of America. He joined Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Department of Oncological Sciences in 1998. Cairns was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in May 2000.