Nancy Zeleznik-Le, PhD


Nancy Zeleznik-Le, PhD


Chair, Cancer Biology
Professor, Cancer Biology; Medicine


CBCC 337


Research Focus Areas              

Watch Dr. Zeleznik-Le Video

  • MLL leukemias
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Chromatin-mediated gene regulation and epigenetics

My laboratory is interested in understanding how oncogenic MLL fusion proteins cause aggressive MLL leukemias and how this information could inform novel therapeutic approaches for this devastating cancer. Our focus is on structure-informed functional studies of the chromatin regulators MLL and the MLL fusion partners such as AF9 (MLLT3)and ENL (MLLT1) to understand their gene regulatory mechanisms. The wildtype MLL, AF9 and ENL proteins normally function as master regulators of critical gene expression pathways via chromatin epigenetic reader and writer mechanisms, whereas the oncogenic MLL fusion proteins cause misregulated expression of these same MLL target genes. We utilize a variety of complementary approaches including in vitro and in vitro leukemia models, normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell analyses, and advanced molecular and cellular techniques. Our research has implications for improving normal hematopoietic stem cell function and to determine mechanisms that might be amenable to therapeutic targeting of MLL leukemia.

Departmental Program:  Gene Regulation and Genome Maintenance

Education / Training:

PhD:   Duke University, Durham, NC  USA


Nancy Zeleznik-Le Publications List