ChemBio e-seminar by Prof. Brian Liau


Event details

Date 03.05.2022
Hour 16:1517:15
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Title: Unraveling Chromatin with Chemical Genomics

Abstract: Biological macromolecules participate in intricate, complex interactions. These interactions span different shapes, sizes, and length scales, from shape-complementary surfaces that comprise stable protein complexes to weak chemical forces that give rise to biomolecular condensates. This breadth and diversity is exemplified by chromatin complexes, the orchestrated interactions of which control gene expression and cell fate decisions. Dysregulation of these complexes and their interactions underlie human disease, and new therapeutic approaches to modulate them by blocking or even creating interactions are transforming paradigms for drug discovery. Unraveling these complexes and their interactions requires integrating deep understanding of their chemical details with that of their dynamics and function in living cells. To bridge these gaps, my research program combines chemical biology with genomic technologies to illuminate chromatin complexes and their functions in native, cellular ecosystems. In this lecture, I will describe how the application of these tools in combination with deep mechanistic investigation has led to unexpected biological discoveries that reshape our views on targeting chromatin modifying enzymes for therapeutics.

Speaker's Biography: Brian Liau is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard College, before receiving a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Shair. During his PhD studies, Brian completed the chemical synthesis of complex bioactive natural products and investigated their biological mechanism of action. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Bradley Bernstein at Massachusetts General Hospital, he studied epigenetic mechanisms of adaptation and drug resistance in brain cancer. In 2016, Brian started his independent research group, which integrates genomics with chemical biology to unravel chromatin complexes and genome regulation. In particular, the Liau lab has pioneered chemical genomic approaches to systematically identify drug resistance-conferring mutations for protein drug targets, which they leverage in deep mechanistic studies to discover new target biology.

Lab website:

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free