From Cornell, to UW-Madison, to Cal-Berkeley, then Penn State, and back to Cornell, Frank Pugh has been training academic scientist to decipher molecular mechanisms by which genes are controlled.
Our goal is to understand how all nuclear proteins work together to regulate genomes, and apply this knowledge towards better diagnosis and management of human diseases. We use the well-known budding yeast as both a technological and conceptual model. To date, we have defined the positional organization along the genome of nearly all mappable nuclear proteins (>400) at near single-bp resolution using the ChIP-exo assay that we developed. This provides an understanding of the structural organization of protein complexes along the genome in vivo. Assembly dynamics are next monitored through rapid reprogramming of the genome (e.g., 5 min. of acute heat shock). Function is then assessed through CRISPR/Cas9-engineered depletion of factors, and through biochemical reconstitution of protein/DNA complexes on a genomic scale. Parallel strategies are being conducted in model human cell lines and clinical samples. We intend to identify the mappable protein/DNA interactions that correlate best with disease states and their treatment outcomes so as to develop improved medical diagnostics.
Dr. Pugh specializes in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Molecular and Cellular Biolgy.
Awards and Honors
- Evan Pugh University Professor (2020) Pennsylvania State University
- Faculty Scholars Medal (2006) Pennsylvania State University
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar (2001) Pennsylvania State University
- Daniel Tershak Faculty Teaching Award (1996) Pennsylvania State University
- Searle Scholar (1995) Pennsylvania State University