Marcela Sjöberg | Postdoctoral Fellow

This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Sjöberg, Marcela

Marcela investigates epigenetic mechanisms modulating gene expression in cells of the immune system. The comparative epigenomic (DNA methylation/ hydroxymethylation and histone marks) and transcriptomic analysis reveal different principles of epigenetic control operating in lymphocytes. Other lines of her work and interest include circular RNAs and epigenome-editing.

The set of chemical modifications occurring on the DNA and associated proteins at different genomic locations constitute the epigenome, which modulates the organization and function of the genome.

The BLUEPRINT epigenome consortium aims to generate reference epigenomic maps of different blood cell types to advance and exploit knowledge of the underlying biological processes and mechanisms in health and disease. I am developing one of the projects pertaining to the BLUEPRINT and the key objectives are to assess the impact of gender and genotype on gene expression and epigenome variation and to identify parental-origin specific effects. By using high-throughput sequencing technologies, I have generated gender- and strain-specific genome-wide epigenomic (ChIP-seq, WGBS and oxWGBS) and transcriptomic (RNA-seq) profiles for lymphocyte populations of the adaptive immune system (B and T cells). The comparative analysis between cell types reveals different principles of epigenetic control operating in B and T lymphocytes. I am now examining the influence of these epigenetic features on gene expression at a single-cell level.

I am fascinated by the diverse molecular mechanisms that have evolved to regulate the information encoded in the genome, which play an essential role in embryonic development and the maintenance of specialized cellular phenotypes. Cancer cells display significant alterations in their epigenome acquiring more plasticity and loosing part of the original identity. Moreover mutations in epigenetic modifiers have also emerged as recurrent events in cancer. However, the extent to which those mutations cooperate with other cancer related mutations and influence cancer development/progression requires further investigation. My future line of research will examine the interplay between epigenetic mechanisms and their contribution to cancer development. To address these questions, I am developing epigenome-editing techniques to manipulate the epigenome in a locus-specific manner. These tools will enable me to determine the key epigenetic modifiers that govern gene expression changes important in human health and disease. Ultimately, these studies will be valuable to identify new targets for therapeutic approaches.

Publications

  • The BRAF pseudogene functions as a competitive endogenous RNA and induces lymphoma in vivo.

    Karreth FA, Reschke M, Ruocco A, Ng C, Chapuy B et al.

    Cell 2015;161;2;319-32

  • The aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein ring1B combine to regulate active promoters in quiescent lymphocytes.

    Frangini A, Sjöberg M, Roman-Trufero M, Dharmalingam G, Haberle V et al.

    Molecular cell 2013;51;5;647-61

  • A novel role for the Aurora B kinase in epigenetic marking of silent chromatin in differentiated postmitotic cells.

    Sabbattini P, Canzonetta C, Sjoberg M, Nikic S, Georgiou A et al.

    The EMBO journal 2007;26;22;4657-69

  • An H3K9/S10 methyl-phospho switch modulates Polycomb and Pol II binding at repressed genes during differentiation.

    Sabbattini P, Sjoberg M, Nikic S, Frangini A, Holmqvist PH et al.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2014;25;6;904-15

  • The BRAF pseudogene functions as a competitive endogenous RNA and induces lymphoma in vivo.

    Karreth FA, Reschke M, Ruocco A, Ng C, Chapuy B et al.

    Cell 2015;161;2;319-32

  • An H3K9/S10 methyl-phospho switch modulates Polycomb and Pol II binding at repressed genes during differentiation.

    Sabbattini P, Sjoberg M, Nikic S, Frangini A, Holmqvist PH et al.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2014;25;6;904-15

  • The aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein ring1B combine to regulate active promoters in quiescent lymphocytes.

    Frangini A, Sjöberg M, Roman-Trufero M, Dharmalingam G, Haberle V et al.

    Molecular cell 2013;51;5;647-61

  • E180splice mutation in the growth hormone receptor gene in a Chilean family with growth hormone insensitivity: a probable common Mediterranean ancestor.

    Espinosa C, Sjoberg M, Salazar T, Rodriguez A, Cassorla FG et al.

    Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism : JPEM 2008;21;12;1119-27

  • A novel role for the Aurora B kinase in epigenetic marking of silent chromatin in differentiated postmitotic cells.

    Sabbattini P, Canzonetta C, Sjoberg M, Nikic S, Georgiou A et al.

    The EMBO journal 2007;26;22;4657-69

  • Tau protein binds to pericentromeric DNA: a putative role for nuclear tau in nucleolar organization.

    Sjöberg MK, Shestakova E, Mansuroglu Z, Maccioni RB and Bonnefoy E

    Journal of cell science 2006;119;Pt 10;2025-34

  • Study of GH sensitivity in chilean patients with idiopathic short stature.

    Sjoberg M, Salazar T, Espinosa C, Dagnino A, Avila A et al.

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2001;86;9;4375-81

Sjöberg, Marcela
Marcela's Timeline
2012

Joined the Sanger Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow

2007

Postdoctoral training at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre Imperial College London, UK

2006

PhD in Molecular, Cellular Biology and Neuroscience University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

2002

MSc Molecular Biotechnology Engineer University of Chile, Santiago, Chile