Dr. Leung received his B.Sc in Human Genetics from University College London and his M.Sc. in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London. He subsequently conducted his Ph.D. research at the University of British Columbia where he began to delve into the field of epigenetics. Dr. Leung then conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research San Diego. He was a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine fellow and the project manager of the San Diego branch of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Project. He was the recipient of the 2017 Croucher Innovation Award. His laboratory’s research focuses on the interplay between epigenetic pathways in the regulation of non-coding DNA.
Mammalian genomes consist mostly of non-coding sequences. Within this massive proportion, previously misclassified as “junk DNA”, resides elements that function to regulate normal transcriptional programs. We are particularly interested in two classes of non-coding sequences: cis-regulatory elements (transcriptional promoters and enhancers) and endogenous retroviruses. Our research focuses on dissecting how non-coding sequences are epigenetically regulated in both normal development and disease. We utilize various epigenomic and molecular biology tools to delineate epigenetic pathways that modulate the activities of cis-regulatory elements and endogenous retroviruses, and their downstream effects on gene expression. Specifically, we are interested in 1) elucidating the function of non-coding elements in normal cellular processes; 2) determining the role of chromatin modifiers in 3D genome architecture, and 3) uncovering the epigenomes in cancer.
- Danny Leung, Inkyung Jung, Nisha Rajagopal, Anthony Schmitt, Siddarth Selvaraj, Ah Young Lee, Chia-An Yen, Shin Lin, Yiing Lin, Yunjiang Qiu, Wei Xie, Feng Yue, Manoj Hariharan, Pradipta Ray, Samantha Kuan, Lee Edsall, Hongbo Yang, Neil C. Chi, Michael Q. Zhang , Joseph R. Ecker, Bing Ren. Integrative analysis of haplotype-resolved epigenomes across human tissues. (2015) Nature 518, 350-354
- Danny Leung, Tingting Du, Ulrich Wagner, Wei Xie, Ah Young Lee, Preeti Goyal, Yujing Li, Keith E. Szulwach, Peng Jin, Matthew Lorincz and Bing Ren. Regulation of DNA methylation turnover at LTR retrotransposons and imprinted loci by the histone methyltransferase Setdb1. (2014) PNAS volume 111 no.18: 6690-6695
- Danny Leung, Dong Kevin B., Maksakova I.A., Goyal P., Appanah, R. ; Lee, S. ; Tachibana, M. ; Shinkai, Y. ; Lehnertz, B. ; Mager, D.L. ; Rossi, F. ; Lorincz, M.C. Lysine methyltransferase G9a is required for de novo DNA methylation and the establishment, but not the maintenance, of proviral silencing. strong>PNAS , v. 108, (14), 2011, April, p. 5718-5723 Article, 2011
- Karimi Mohammad M., Goyal Preeti, Maksakova Irina A., Bilenky Misha, Danny Leung, Tang Jie Xin, Shinkai Yoichi, Mager Dixie L., Jones Steven, Hirst Martin, Lorincz Matthew C. DNA methylation and SETDB1/H3K9me3 regulate predominantly distinct sets of genes, retroelements, and chimeric transcripts in mescs. Cell Stem Cell, v.8, (6), 2011, June, p. 676-687 Article, 2011
- Toshiyuki Matsui*, Danny Leung*, Hiroki Miyashita, Hitoshi Miyachi, Hiroshi Kimura, Makoto Tachibana, Matthew C. Lorincz, Yoichi Shinkai. Proviral silencing in embryonic stem cells require the histone methyltransferase ESET. (2010) Nature 464, 927-931 *-indicates co-first authorship