William Pastor

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry

Transcriptional regulation in early human development

McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 promenade Sir-William-Osler
Office: Room 800B; Lab: 800
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y6
Tel: 514-398-8350; Lab: 514-398-8962
Email: william.pastor [at] mcgill.ca

2011 – PhD,  Harvard University

Research Interests

1. Placentation

In the first days of human life, distinct cells called trophoblasts are specified and go on to form most of the placenta. Given the critical importance of the placenta for fetal and maternal health, our lab will study transcriptional control of trophoblast specification and early placental development.

2. Heterochromatin establishment

Dramatic epigenetic changes occur in early human development. Most notably, there is a global increase in DNA methylation, an epigenetic mark critical for silencing genes and transposons. The methylation pattern established in early development is largely conserved through the rest of life. We will use stem cell based models to determine how DNA methyltransferases are regulated and how DNA methylation is patterned.

3. Mechanisms of transcription factor activity

Changes in the transcriptional program of a cell necessitate opening of new enhancers and silencing of old ones. For this to happen, transcription factors must hone to a precise set of regions and alter chromatin state. We are interested in how the AP2 family of transcription factors open enhancers during development and regulate the expression of genes.


Publications (complete list) - William Abraham Pastor