Wenjun Huang, DPhil

Nuffield Department of Medicine

The function of DNA modifications in cancer

Wenjun Huang studied for an undergraduate degree in Biology in China, and subsequently joined Prof. Kriaucionis’s group for her CRUK Oxford Centre DPhil Prize Studentship in October 2016.

What is your current research?

For my DPhil project, I’m interested in understanding the role of DNA modifications in normal and malignant haematopoiesis, and I’d like to illustrate the molecular mechanism of DNA modification function in cancer development. 

Cytosine in DNA are chemically modified into 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC),5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). 5mC and 5hmC are stable modifications which are involved in gene regulation. Importantly, cancer cells display abnormal DNA modification profile and develop the CpG island methylator phenotype, which could function as a biomarker for early detection and response to therapy.