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R. Scott Hansen, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor of Medicine
Research Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability
University of Washington
Box 357720
Seattle, WA 98195-7720

Dr. Hansen's research interests focus on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, including studies of (1) the mechanisms of normal X chromosome inactivation, which is the mammalian form of dosage compensation that is critical for normal development; (2) the silencing of the FMR1 gene that occurs in fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual and other developmental disabilities; and (3) the epigenetic abnormalities that occur as a result of DNMT3B DNA methyltransferase deficiency in the ICF immunodeficiency syndrome (one of the rarest developmental disorders). Analyses of the detailed patterns of methylation, replication timing, histone acetylation, chromatin structure, and gene expression are integral to these studies.

Hansen’s current research in fragile X is focused on abnormal replicating timing and replication origin usage. Fragile X syndrome exhibits delayed replication and hypermethylation at FMR1. The replication delay extends beyond the borders of the fragile X gene to varying extents, and studies are underway to understand how these very late zones of replication develop. To study replication fork direction and origin usage in the region, Hansen and colleagues use a novel replication fork direction assay, applied to study of cells with normal, premutation, and full-mutation alleles.

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University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •