Benjamin Tycko, MD, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Research and Director of the Division of Genetics & Epigenetics at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC).
Our lab has a longstanding research program focusing on genetics and epigenetics in human development and disease. Starting with early studies of genomic imprinting and the function of imprinted genes, our work has evolved into genome-wide and locus-specific profiling of CpG methylation, both net and allele-specific, for disease gene and functional variant discovery and pathway analysis in autoimmune diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, Down syndrome, and cancers. In this work, we have a major focus on cis- and trans-acting effects of local genomic sequences and chromosomal copy number on DNA methylation patterns. We are also studying combination therapies with epigenetic drugs in mouse models of cancer.
Hackensack University Medical Center
Senior Scientist, Dept. Biomedical Research
Director, Division of Genetics & Epigenetics
Co-leader, Georgetown Lombardi’s molecular oncology program
Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center
Member, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center
Member, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University
Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology
Associate Professor of Pathology
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Instructor in Pathology
Stanford University Hospital
Resident in Pathology
New York University School of Medicine, M.D., Ph.D.
Princeton University, B.A.
Dr. Tycko has had a long-standing focus on understanding genetics and epigenetics in human development and disease. Starting with pioneering studies of genomic imprinting and the function of imprinted genes, his lab’s work evolved into genomewide and gene-specific profiling of the patterns of CpG methylation in DNA samples from normal and diseased human tissues and mouse models. The goal of these molecular studies—published in top-ranked medical journals—is disease gene discovery and biological pathway analysis in autoimmune diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, Down syndrome and cancers. Among several ongoing projects, a current focus in the Tycko laboratory is on using combined genetic-epigenetic mapping to pinpoint functional genetic variants that underlie interindividual differences in cancer risk.
The Tycko laboratory is now establishing key collaborations with clinicians at John Theurer Cancer Center of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) to apply this method to identify DNA sequence variants that confer susceptibility to important types of human cancers. This work started as a collaboration with Dr. David Siegel on multiple myeloma and has since expanded to collaborations with Dr. Michael Stifelman on bladder cancer, Dr. George Kaptain and his colleagues on brain tumors, and Dr. Andre Goy studying lymphomas.
In addition to this work with clinicians at HUMC/JTCC, these projects are starting to involve investigators in research programs at Georgetown Lombardi, and are benefiting from core support for cloud computing from Georgetown Lombardi’s Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource. The expectation is that these studies which are based on human tissues and are therefore also collaborative with the HUMC pathology department, will lead to novel insights to cancer causation and individualized approaches to cancer screening and treatment.