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Nora I. Engel, PhD


Nora I. Engel, PhD


Associate Professor, Biochemistry

Associate Professor, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology

Telephone:  215-707-7611

Fax:  215-707-7536

Email: noraengel@temple.edu


Department of Biochemistry

Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology


Educational Background:


University degree, University of Buenos Aires, School of Biochemistry, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1986


PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1997


Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1999-2005


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Research Interests:


My research concentrates on understanding the interactions, mechanisms and epigenetic modifications of DNA sequences that regulate transcription. As a model, we focus on a multigene region that exhibits genomic imprinting.  “Imprinted” genes are consistently expressed from only one of the two parental copies. It is believed that imprinted genes are marked with a memory of their parental origin, and that the marks are reversible chemical or structural modifications of the DNA occurring during development of each germline. This type of modification is termed “epigenetic” and allows the parental alleles to be distinguished. The fact that imprinted genes are only active from one allele means that any perturbation in their expression is dominant. In fact, proper regulation of imprinted genes is crucial and alteration of their status in humans can lead to both genetic diseases and cancer.


.The Cdkn1c domain is a group of imprinted genes including at least 8 maternally expressed genes and one paternally expressed long non-coding RNA with silencing activity. Alterations of imprinting in this domain have been found in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, an overgrowth disorder with predisposition to cancer. Also, mutations in Cdkn1c, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, have been documented in human cancers.


The research in my lab explores the molecular mechanisms that regulate transcriptional features of  imprinted regions, including epigenetic features and three-dimensional conformations, by an interdisciplinary approach combining in silico, in vitro and in vivo technologies to understand the interactions of regulatory DNA sequences.  


mouse model


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Recent Medically Related Publications, Obtained from PubMed (Click on PubMed ID to view abstract)

26578809. Engel N, Imprinted X chromosome inactivation offers up a double dose of epigenetics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A :()2015 Nov 17

25539921. Schultz BM, Gallicio GA, Cesaroni M, Lupey LN, Engel N, Enhancers compete with a long non-coding RNA for regulation of the Kcnq1 domain. Nucleic Acids Res 43:2(745-59)2015 Jan

23028363. Korostowski L, Sedlak N, Engel N, The Kcnq1ot1 long non-coding RNA affects chromatin conformation and expression of Kcnq1, but does not regulate its imprinting in the developing heart. PLoS Genet 8:9(e1002956)2012 Sep

22920179. Latham KE, Sapienza C, Engel N, The epigenetic lorax: gene-environment interactions in human health. Epigenomics 4:4(383-402)2012 Aug

22085535. Korostowski L, Raval A, Breuer G, Engel N, Enhancer-driven chromatin interactions during development promote escape from silencing by a long non-coding RNA. Epigenetics Chromatin 4:(21)2011 Nov 15

21600199. Ideraabdullah FY, Abramowitz LK, Thorvaldsen JL, Krapp C, Wen SC, Engel N, Bartolomei MS, Novel cis-regulatory function in ICR-mediated imprinted repression of H19. Dev Biol 355:2(349-57)2011 Jul 15

19229137. Engel N, Tront JS, Erinle T, Nguyen N, Latham KE, Sapienza C, Hoffman B, Liebermann DA, Conserved DNA methylation in Gadd45a(-/-) mice. Epigenetics 4:2(98-9)2009 Feb 16

18617529. Engel N, Raval AK, Thorvaldsen JL, Bartolomei SM, Three-dimensional conformation at the H19/Igf2 locus supports a model of enhancer tracking. Hum Mol Genet 17:19(3021-9)2008 Oct 1

16928784. Engel N, Thorvaldsen JL, Bartolomei MS, CTCF binding sites promote transcription initiation and prevent DNA methylation on the maternal allele at the imprinted H19/Igf2 locus. Hum Mol Genet 15:19(2945-54)2006 Oct 1

16117631. Fedoriw AM, Engel NI, Bartolomei MS, Genomic imprinting: antagonistic mechanisms in the germ line and early embryo. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 69:(39-45)2004

15273688. Engel N, West AG, Felsenfeld G, Bartolomei MS, Antagonism between DNA hypermethylation and enhancer-blocking activity at the H19 DMD is uncovered by CpG mutations. Nat Genet 36:8(883-8)2004 Aug

14711117. Engel N, Bartolomei MS, Mechanisms of insulator function in gene regulation and genomic imprinting. Int Rev Cytol 232:(89-127)2003

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