Dr. Macfarlan earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, where he studied the transcriptional repressive properties of THAP domain proteins, a family of DNA binding proteins that evolved from the DNA binding domain of P-element transposases. After his PhD, Dr. Macfarlan joined the laboratory of Samuel Pfaff at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he demonstrated that endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) play an important role in mammalian pre-implantation development by providing regulatory sequences for an entire network of genes that are coordinately regulated by chromatin modifying factors to control embryonic potential. Dr. Macfarlan won the PECASE award in 2012 for these studies. Dr. Macfarlan was then recruited to the NIH in July of 2012 as part of the Earl Stadtman Investigator Program. As a member of the Division of Developmental Biology with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Todd currently heads the Unit on Mammalian Epigenome Reprogramming. The lab currently explores the interplay between transcription factors and the chromatin state to discover basic principals of mammalian development and evolution.
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