Andrew Dingwall, PhD



Professor, Cancer Biology
Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine;
Microbiology & Immunology
Associate Director, MD/PhD Program

CBCC 334
Office:  708-327-3141

Laboratory website:

Research Focus Areas

  • Chromatin remodeling
  • COMPASS methyltransferase complex
  • Epigenetic gene regulation
  • Enhancer control in development and cancer

In most living cells, chromosomes are formed from highly condensed DNA and basic proteins that  function to compact the chromosomes into a structure called chromatin. Dr. Dingwall's research is  focused on understanding the multitude of critically important roles chromatin structure and histone modifications play in normal development and disease. The Dingwall lab studies a highly conserved group of proteins that form a histone methyltransferase complex, known as the MLR COMPASS-like complex, whose main function is to regulate gene expression through epigenetic bookmarking and commissioning of transcriptional enhancer chromatin. Research efforts are targeted at understanding how the complex contributes to the various intricate functions in regulating tissue-specific gene expression during organismal development, as well as tumor cells. For example, when individual components of this complex are missing or mutated, certain cells lose the ability to properly control their fates and growth, leading to a variety of developmental disorders and aggressive cancers. In fact, the primary methyltransferase subunits are among the most frequently mutated across all cancer types. The Dingwall lab is focused on understanding the molecular, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that govern normal animal development, as well as several types of leukemia, lymphoma and aggressive soft-tissue cancers. Investigative approaches utilize a systems biology perspective, incorporating model organism (Drosophila melanogaster) genetics and biochemistry, protein structure determination and modeling, cell biology, fly and mammalian cell culture including therapy-resistant breast cancers, as well gene expression profiling (RNA sequencing) and chromatin and genome-wide binding technologies (ChIP-sequencing) and bioinformatic analyses.

Departmental Program:  Gene Regulation and Genome Maintenance

Education / Training: PhD:  Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University,  New York , NY, USA
Postdoctoral Fellow:    Stanford University School of Medicine,
     Depts of Developmental Biology and Genetics, HHMI

Andrew Dingwall Publications