Sungyun Kang

Visiting Scholar

Ph.D., University of Essex, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Aachen, 2008-2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, Karolinska Institute, 2009-2011
Postdoctoral Fellow, NIAID, 2011-2016

I grew up in South Korea and obtained my Ph.D. in Cell/Molecular Biology at the University of Essex, United Kingdom. During my Ph.D. studies, I found a direct link between the insulator-binding protein CTCF and RNA Polymerase II, suggesting that CTCF may recruit Pol II to a subpopulation of CTCF binding sites. I then spent time at the University of Aachen, Germany studying the role of LPA receptors in initiating CXCL12-dependent vascular repair by smooth muscle progenitor cells. I then moved to Karolinska Institutes, Sweden to explore the contention that CTCF functions and its binding sites within the H19 ICR are functionally diverse and organize context-dependent higher order chromatin conformations. Recently, at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, I characterized CTCF and its partner cohesin during the G2/M phase of the cell cycle.

Chromatin structure and other epigenetic factors play crucial roles in gene expression, selectively enhancing or silencing transcriptional activities speciļ¬c to various cell types. My current research focuses on understanding gene regulation by CTCF and its paralog BORIS through interactions with the general transcription machinery and other factors with the long-term goal of understanding the interplay between CTCF/BORIS, cell type-specific transcription factors, and chromatin structure in gene regulation.

When not in the lab you will find me spending time with my family, exploring nature, going to concerts/films, watching baseball, and playing tennis.