About Dr. David Skaar


My expertise is in a convergent approach of bioinformatics with genetics and epigenetics (specifically DNA methylation) to identify and characterize regulatory elements of imprinted genes.  The focus of my epigenetic research is to determine how these regulatory regions are altered in complex human diseases, and in response to environmental exposures.  The long term goal of this work is to determine how the epigenome functions in generating phenotypes in response to environmental influence. My research involves bioinformatics (ENCODE databases, custom sequence pattern searches) for target selection, and targeted sequencing (bisulfite, Sequenom, RT-PCR) for regulation and expression analysis.  These approaches have generated an expanding panel of epigenetic regulatory regions usable for epigenotyping of disease states, and most recently, screening of individuals with risk factors for breast cancer, for identification of potential markers for early detection and/or progression tracking.