College of Medicine to host leading epigeneticist

Founder of cancer epigenetics to further research interests and collaborate with College of Medicine faculty and students
October 23, 2020

This fall, the Texas A&M College of Medicine will be hosting Andrew Feinberg, MD, MPH, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, as a fellow in the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University. He is among the 10 fellows in this year’s class.

As a pioneer in molecular biology, Feinberg’s contributions to the field are unmatched. He has contributed to computational modeling and the mechanistic understanding of human disease using both animal models and humans, as well as worked on NASA’s Twin Study.

Established by the Texas A&M University Board of Regents in 2010, the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study attracts world-class scholars as Faculty Fellows, all of which are hosted by or affiliated with any of the 16 colleges and schools at Texas A&M. The fellows are among top scholars who have distinguished themselves and have made significant contributions in their respective fields.

During the 12-month fellowship, the faculty fellows pursue their individual research interests and collaborate with faculty and staff from the college they affiliate with through disciplinary and multidisciplinary research in order to help advance not only the university but the world’s challenges.

Past fellows include Nobel Prize and Academy Award winners, a national recipient of the National Medal of Science and National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine members.

“The College of Medicine is thrilled have Dr. Feinberg as a faculty fellow working with our students and faculty this year,” said Amy Waer, MD, FACS, interim dean of the College of Medicine. “He’s a trailblazer in an important field of medicine and a wonderful mentor.”

David Threadgill, PhD, university distinguished professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the College of Medicine, nominated Feinberg for his advancements in medicine, specifically epigenetics.

“Dr. Feinberg is the leading authority on epigenetics and how the epigenome senses the environment,” Threadgill said. “Texas A&M faculty and students will benefit through his knowledge and expertise, allowing their research projects to expand into this increasingly important field.”

Feinberg’s research expertise lies in molecular biology, genetics, computational biology and mathematics. Considered a founder of the field of cancer epigenetics, Feinberg helped discover altered DNA methylation in cancer in the early 1980s. He also introduced pioneering statistical and laboratory methods to the study of the epigenome.

Feinberg is the director of the Center for Epigenetics at Johns Hopkins University and is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pioneer Award. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the NIH Council of Councils.

— Gracie Blackwell

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