Lars Jansen

Governing Body Fellow

Professor Lars Jansen is a William R Miller Fellow and Tutor in Biochemistry. His lab focuses on understanding chromatin structure and function in human cell systems.

Lars Jansen, a native from the Netherlands, received his PhD in Molecular Genetics in 2002 from Leiden University. He then moved to the Ludwig Institute, San Diego, California to receive training in human cell biology. In 2008 he started his independent research career at the Gulbenkian Institute for Science in Lisbon. After 10 years in Portugal he joined the department of Biochemistry in Oxford in 2018 as a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow. His lab focuses on understanding chromatin structure and function in human cell systems.

Lars has a broad interest in molecular and cellular biology with a specific focus on molecular genetics. Lars shares his expertise through lectures on Cell Biology at prelims and aspects of chromatin structure and chromosome biology in 2nd and 3rd-year courses. Additionally, Lars offers a broad set of tutorials in basic cell biology and the fascinating areas of molecular genetics that include: DNA replication, DNA repair, transcription, gene regulation, chromatin structure and function, epigenetics, chromosome biology, and the cell cycle.

Lars’ research goals revolve around “inheritance”. How are cellular components duplicated and how are they accurately passed on from one cell division to the next, or form one generation to the next? Genes on chromosomes are a spectacular example of a structure that is copied and split between cells in a highly accurate manner. However, while inheritance typically deals with genes in the form of DNA, other cellular structures made e.g. of proteins can sometimes also be in inherited and passed on in ways that are not directly dependent on genes. Such non-genetic or epigenetic forms of inheritance are intriguing and poorly understood yet crucial to understand how cells differentiate into different tissues and how individuals develop.

Lars introduced his research for a non-specialist audience in this recent Lunchtime Lecture.

Sreyoshi Mitra, Dani L. Bodor, Ana F. David, Izma Abdul-Zani João F. Mata, Beate Neumann, Sabine Reither, Christian Tischer and Lars E.T. Jansen (2020) Genetic screening identifies a SUMO protease dynamically maintaining centromeric chromatin. Nature Communications, 11: 501

Dragan Stajic, Lília Perfeito and Lars E.T. Jansen (2019) Epigenetic gene silencing alters the mechanisms and rate of evolutionary adaptation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3: 491-8

Ana Stankovic, Lucie Y. Guo, João F. Mata, Dani L. Bodor, Xing-Jun Cao, Aaron O. Bailey, Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Donald F. Hunt, Benjamin A. Garcia, Ben E. Black and Lars E.T Jansen (2017) A dual inhibitory mechanism sufficient to maintain cell cycle restricted CENP-A assembly. Molecular Cell, 65: 231–246

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On genes, genetics and epigenetics

12 Oct 2020

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