Department of Cancer Biology

Ivana de la Serna, Ph.D.

 

idls Ivana de la Serna, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
ivana.delaserna@utoledo.edu

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

In eukaryotes, DNA is packaged into chromatin, the basic unit of which is the nucleosome.  Chromatin structure plays a critical role in the regulation of gene expression by imposing topological constraints and by creating a barrier for transcriptional regulators. SWI/SNF enzymes are multiprotein complexes that alter chromatin structure in an ATP dependent manner and are involved in the regulation of gene expression.  Components of the SWI/SNF complex are essential for mouse development and play important roles in several human cancers.

Cellular differentiation is characterized by the activation of previously silent genes embedded in repressive chromatin structure that is inaccessible to the transcriptional machinery.  SWI/SNF enzymes interact with master regulators of differentiation to disrupt chromatin structure and activate lineage specific gene expression.  We have previously determined that SWI/SNF enzymes interact with the master regulator of melanocyte differentiation, Microphthalmia Transcription Factor (MITF).  MITF regulates the expression of genes that encode the enzymes needed for melanin synthesis, melanosome structure, and melanocyte survival.  The main focus of my research is to study the functional role of SWI/SNF enzymes in the regulation of gene expression during melanocyte differentiation and to determine how SWI/SNF function is de-regulated in melanoma. 

Member of the mentoring faculty for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (Cancer Biology Track).

EDUCATION:

Ph.D. 1998 University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
B.S. 1984 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

RECENT ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS:

2012-pres  Associate Professor, Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Scicence Campus
2005-2012 Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus
2004-2005 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School
1998-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School,
1990-1997 Research & Teaching Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Univesity of California, Davis
1988-1990 Research & Teaching Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Fullerton

PUBLICATIONS:      de la Serna NCBI site

Last Updated: 6/9/21