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Paul Kaufman, Ph.D.

Ph.D.: 1992, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral research: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Office: University of Massachusetts Medical School
364 Plantation Street, LRB-506
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone: 508-856-5016


We study proteins that regulate chromosome structure and function, using cell biological and genomic tools to analyze mammalian chromosome organization.

As part of the NIH 4D Nucleome partnership, we have been investigating heterochromatin organization in mammalian cells, with particular focus on specific loci that are localized to the perinucleolar region (Vertii et al., Genome Research, 29(8):1235-1249 (2019); Bizhanova et al., Chromosoma, in press (2020)). We are also interested in specific proteins that mediate such interactions. For example, we discovered that Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 (CAF-1) regulates protein accumulation and long-range DNA interactions at the nucleolus in human interphase cells. CAF-1 also regulates the protein composition of human mitotic chromosomes. These novel activities are mediated via regulation of the proliferation antigen Ki-67. (Smith et al., Mol. Biol. Cell 25: 2866-2881 (2014); Matheson and Kaufman, Chromosoma 125: 361-71 (2016); Mol. Biol. Cell 28: 21-29 (2017)). We are investigating how these proteins shape the structure of the human cell nucleus, and are also currently performing genome-scale analyses of mouse and human heterochromatin-nucleolar interactions. Ki-67 is particularly interesting not only because of its use as a clinical tumor marker, but because we find that it links cell cycle progression and heterochromatin maintenance in p21 checkpoint-proficient human cells (Sun et al. Mol. Cell. Biol. 37: e00569-16 (2017); Sun and Kaufman Chromosoma 127: 175-186 (2018)).

Another approach we have developed involves obligately asymmetric nucleosomes, with which we can test the roles of individual histone tails in gene regulation and other chromosome functions (Ichikawa et al., eLife 6: e28836 (2017); Ichikawa and Kaufman, Bio Protocol 8: e2770 (2018)). We have also adapted this method to the study of the specialized histone isoforms in centromeric nucleosomes (Ichikawa et al., eLife 7: e37911 (2018)).

Rotation Projects

Please enquire with Dr. Kaufman

Positions Available

Highly motivated individuals who have first-author publications and are seeking postdoctoral training are encouraged to apply.  Contact Dr. Kaufman