Genetics assistant professor Xuehua Zhong recently received a five-year Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health to research “uncovering the epigenetic codes for genome integrity, developmental and environmental interaction” via the institute’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) mechanism.
MIRA grants provide support for new and ambitious research programs in an investigator’s laboratory rather than individual projects. The aim is to provide investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thus enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.
Zhong studies epigenetics, a growing area of research focused on how chemical tags on DNA can change the expression of genes. The Zhong Lab of Epigenetic Regulation, located at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, is especially interested in the modification of genes involved in growth and development, and how epigenetics can be affected by the changing environment.