Dowen, Rob

Assistant Professor

Affiliations: Department of Cell Biology and Physiology; Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences (iBGS)

dowen@email.unc.edu
321 Fordham Hall
858-736-6579 (office)

Lab Website

Research Synopsis:

Appropriate allocation of cellular lipid stores is paramount to maintaining organismal energy homeostasis and is coordinated by a network of multi-tissue endocrine signals. Dysregulation of these pathways can manifest in human metabolic syndromes, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The goal of my lab is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that govern the storage, metabolism, and intercellular transport of lipids; as well as understand how these circuits interface with other cellular homeostatic pathways (e.g., growth and aging). We utilize C. elegans as a model system to interrogate these evolutionarily conserved pathways, combining genetic approaches (forward and reverse genetic screens, CRISPR) with genomic methodologies (ChIP-Seq, mRNA-Seq, DNA-Seq) to identify new components and mechanisms of metabolic regulation.

Recent Publications:

Dowen, RH. CEH-60/PBX and UNC-62/MEIS coordinate a metabolic switch that supports reproduction in C. elegansDevelopmental Cell 2019 Apr 22;49(2):235-50. PMID: 30956009

Dowen, RH, Breen, PC, Tullius, T, Conery, AL, Ruvkun, G. A microRNA program in the C. elegans hypodermis couples to intestinal mTORC2/PQM-1 signaling to modulate fat transport. Genes & Development 2016 Jul 1;30(13):1515-28. PMID: 27401555

Riedel, CG, Dowen, RH, Lourenco, GF, Kirienko, NV, Heimbucher, T, West, JA, Bowman, SK, Kingston, RE, Dillin, A, Asara, JM, and Ruvkun, G. DAF-16 employs the chromatin remodeller SWI/SNF to promote stress resistance and longevity. Nature Cell Biology 2013 May;15(5):491-501. PMID: 23604319

Dowen, RH, Pelizzola, M, Schmitz, RJ, Lister, R, Dowen, JM, Nery, JR, Dixon, JE, and Ecker, JR. Widespread dynamic DNA methylation in response to biotic stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012 Aug 7;109(32):E2183-91. PMID: 22733782

Lister, R*, Pelizzola, M*, Dowen, RH, Hawkins, RD, Hon, G, Tonti-Filippini, J, Nery, JR, Lee, L, Ye, Z, Ngo, Q, Edsall, L, Antosiewicz-Bourget, J, Stewart, R, Ruotti, V, Millar, AH, Thomson, JA, Ren, B, and Ecker, JR. Human DNA methylomes at base resolution show widespread epigenomic differences. Nature 2009 Nov 19;462(7271):315-322. *Equal contribution. PMID: 19829295