Kathrin Plath, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biological Chemistry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. For her graduate studies, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Rapoport at Harvard Medical School, where she examined how secretory proteins translocate through the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Her work yielded a model of how the signal sequence initiates translocation across the ER membrane. For her postdoctoral studies with Dr. Barbara Panning at the University of California San Francisco and Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, she turned to the question of how chromatin regulators function in mammalian development. There, she uncovered that Polycomb proteins function in the X-inactivation process and that this group of transcriptional repressors is important for the maintenance of pluripotency and developmental plasticity through the repression of developmental pathways. She joined the faculty at the University of California Los Angeles in 2006, where she studies epigenetic mechanisms that maintain pluripotency and underlie differentiation and reprogramming processes, with a particular emphasis on enhancers and their interaction with transcription factors, genome organization, and processes mediated by long-noncoding RNAs. She serves on the editorial boards of various journals and is a Director of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
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