About Dr. Brian Strahl

Brian David Strahl, a chromatin biology and gene expression researcher, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Strahl holds a secondary appointment at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), also located at UNC. An authority in the field of chromatin and cancer biology, Brian Strahl has made a number of important scientific contributions to the understanding of gene regulation over the course of his career.

Some of Brian Strahl’s research deals with the chemical modifications that occur on histones (e.g., acetylation and methylation), and how these modifications control the structure and function of chromatin.  With his colleagues, he has been exploring the role of enzymes that either “write” or “erase” these histone marks, in addition to studying the proteins that associate with “read” or them.  One recent focus of Brian Strahl’s lab has been to use histone peptide micorarrays to determine how combinatorial histone modifications contribute to a possible “histone code”.  This code is thought to govern the organization of chromatin as well as regulate the accessibility of the underlying DNA.  Dr. Strahl has received numerous awards for his contributions to the understanding of chromatin regulation, and has multiple grant awards to continue with his groundbreaking discoveries.

As the co-founder of the Carolina Chromatin Consortium, Brian Strahl also plays an active role in bringing together UNC scientists with a common interest in chromatin biology. He also sits on the editorial board of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Epigenetics and Chromatin, and has published more than 75 peer-reviewed articles in publications such as Nature, Genes & Development, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brian D. Strahl is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


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