Photo by H. Madhani

Photo by H. Madhani


Our laboratory investigates the impact of gene regulation in health and disease. We work in both yeast (Cryptococcus) and in mammalian cells. The laboratory is located in Genentech Hall at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.  Specific areas of current interest are listed below.

Causes and consequences of gene silencing


We study how information in DNA is controlled. We are particularly interested in the nucleosome because it is the fundamental unit of chromatin, the form of DNA that exists in the nucleus. Modifications of the nucleosome, some of which are heritable, enable the specialization of chromosomal regions for their functions. Defects in these mechanisms underlie numerous diseases including cancer. Key mechanisms under study include the two conserved forms of heterochromatin (H3K9me and H3K27me), DNA methylation (5mC), and RNAi. We seek answers to the fundamental questions of how domains are chosen for silencing, its mechanistic underpinnings, and its biological impact. We use powerful yeast systems (Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Cryptococcus neoformans) that have maintained these mechanisms to address key unanswered questions. For more information click here.


Host-pathogen interactions

Fungal infections are among the most difficult to diagnose and treat clinically. The yeast Cryptococcus neoformans a leading cause of lethal fungal infections, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. The Madhani Lab has extensively developed this yeast as a powerful model organism enabling studies of the mechanisms underlying fungal pathogenesis and drug responses. For more information click here.




October 1, 2018

Welcome to our Fall quarter rotation students Yewande Alabi (BMS) and Matt Nalley (Tetrad)!

June 1, 2018

Nebat Ali joins the laboratory as a Summer Research Training Program Student.  Nebat is at San Jose State in the laboratory or Miri Van Hoven, a former UCSF Tetrad Program Student.  We are delighted to have you in the lab!

May 1, 2018

Eric Dang joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow to investigate the interface between the innate immune system and fungi. Welcome!

November 4, 2017
Morgann Reilly joins the lab as a staff scientist to pursue the functional genomics of Cryptococcus.  Welcome!

September 25, 2017
Tetrad students Amanda Chung and Francesca Del Frate join the lab for their Fall rotations!  Welcome to the party!

July 1, 2017
Janine Sengstack joins the lab for a summer rotation. She will be working with Diana Summers on the Qsp1 project