The Whetstine laboratory is interested in understanding how the chromatin microenvironment regulates gene expression while maintaining a stable genome. Our ultimate goal is to harness this mechanistic understanding to identify novel therapeutic opportunities and to block chemotherapeutic resistance. We integrate biochemistry, genetics, genomics and computation to elucidate chromatin modulators involved in these processes. We have initiated these types of studies by focusing on a specific class of chromatin regulators, the JmjC-containing histone demethylases. Since the discovery of these chromatin regulators, my laboratory has started screening tumors for genomic anomalies (copy changes and mutations) in this class of enzyme and examining their molecular roles at a biochemical, molecular and in vivo level. These combined approaches will determine whether tumors with alterations in JmjC enzymes provide an opportunity to modify conventional chemotherapy and identify novel molecular diagnostics.