Carmen Marsit, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Work: +1 401-863-6508
My research is focused on understanding the role that exposures and lifestyle play in determining the character of the human epigenome. This highly interdisciplinary and collaborative work, relying on both laboratory biology as well as epidemiology and biostatistics, examines molecular alterations in human tissues and correlates these alterations to various epidemiologic and clinical measures to better understand the mechanisms by which exposures lead to pathologies.
Research DescriptionThe broad goal of my research program is to investigate gene environment interactions and their individual and combined impact on human disease, with a particular focus on the impact of the environment on epigenetic regulation of the genome. My research has focused on two distinct, yet highly related biologic processes, that of environmental carcinogenesis and that of human development. In those settings, I am studying alterations to epigenetic marks, which may be responsible, in a significant part, for cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes, common and rare diseases of childhood including behavioral disorders. We focus on DNA methylation and miRNA expression as our key epigenetic mechanisms of interest.
This research aims to provide a sound scientific basis for this emerging paradigm that is taking shape on the heels of the realization that there are fetal origins to many adult diseases. My laboratory is taking approaches both in controlled in-vitro experiments, as well as in utilizing the power of epidemiology to study the effects of the environment on multiple facets of epigenetic regulation, and thereby creating a novel interdisciplinary approach to understanding the pathogenesis of human disease. Paramount to meeting my objectives is creating a collaborative and multidisciplinary team of clinicians, epidemiologists, biologists, and statisticians who, by working with me, are committed to combining efforts to reach these goals. Such a combined effort is absolutely necessary to accomplish this work, and will certainly open up entirely new avenues for research both here at Brown and beyond.
Grants and Awards2000 American Institute of Chemists Award Lafayette College, Department of Chemistry
2000 Phi Lambda Upsilon, Honors Society in Chemistry
2002 Pathobiology of Cancer Fellowship American Association for Cancer Research
2004 AACR-AFLAC Scholar in Training Award American Association for Cancer Research
2005 AACR-AstraZeneca Scholar in Training Award American Association for Cancer Research
AffiliationsAmerican Association for Cancer Research
American Society for Reproductive Immunology
Funded ResearchYoung Clinical Scientist Award
Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute
Role of ETS on Somatic Alterations in Bladder Cancer
R01 CA121147 (Kelsey, PI)
The Molecular Epidemiology of Bladder Cancer
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Grant Program
Array Based miRNA Expression and Methylation Profiling
of Normal and Tumorigenic Pleural Mesothelium
P20 RR018728 (Padbury) COBRE for Perinatal Biology
Project 4: Epigenetic alterations as markers of the intrauterine environment
P42 ES013660 (Boekelheide) Reuse in Rhode Island
NIH-NIEHS Superfund Research Program
Project 8: Environment, Genetics, and Epigenetics in a R.I. Birth Cohort
My teaching philosophy also incorporates my interdisciplinary approach to research, and has aimed at providing the students in my courses, as well as those whom I mentor in my laboratory, a broad, interdisciplinary, and cutting edge education. Beyond discussion of basic cellular biology, morphology, and injury, the course now includes introductions to epidemiology, molecular biology, tumor biology, and novel areas of scientific inquiry such as epigenetics and small RNA biology. The knowledge-based lectures are supplemented with primary literature discussion as well as lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences aimed at providing students a broader understanding of basic and novel laboratory methodologies. These additional experiences have covered topics such as transgenic models, histology and microscopy, gross pathology, and microarray-based approaches.
- Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease (Biol 286)