Professor and Chair, Genetics
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics
Dr. Vijg studies the molecular genetic changes associated with aging. Instability of genome and epigenome – the entire set of an organism’s genes and the switches that control their activity – has long been implicated as the main cause of cancer and of the loss of organ and tissue function associated with aging.
Dr. Vijg’s research team was the first to develop a transgenic animal model for studying how mutations in human genes affect aging in a living organism. Since then, he has developed new versions of this mouse model that aid researchers in monitoring ongoing changes in DNA in different tissues or during various developmental stages over the course of the lifespan. Currently, Dr. Vijg uses next-generation sequencing to directly quantify and characterize mutations and epimutations in cells and tissues of aging organisms. An important component of these studies is the development of new methods for analyzing genome and epigenome in single cells to better understand intra-tissue heterogeneity during aging and in relation to cancer.
DNA mutation analysis, DNA repair, Ultra-high-throughput genomics and epigenomics