Gene Regulation Program


Siavash Kurdistani


Michael Carey, Ph.D.

Contact via email


Siavash Kurdistani, M.D.

Contact via email


Misregulated gene expression plays a causal or contributing role in all cancer. The goal of the Gene Regulation Program is to understand fundamental aspects of gene expression and apply that knowledge to diverse forms of cancer. In addition to investigating diverse aspects of basic and regulated transcription, the Gene Regulation Program provides the expertise and resources needed by other program areas to understand cancer at its most fundamental level.


  1. Use genetic model organisms and mammalian cells to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of gene regulation
  2. Study the molecular regulation of key physiological processes that are highly relevant to cancer, including cell differentiation and inflammation
  3. Facilitate the translation of acquired knowledge of gene regulation into clinical applications
  4. Inform and guide researchers in other program areas who require sophisticated knowledge of gene regulation concepts and methodology

Meetings and Events

  • Weekly Gene Regulation Journal Club
  • Monthly Gene Regulation meeting at which two different UCLA gene regulation labs present recent results
  • “Leader in the Field” seminar series at which an invited external speaker gives an afternoon seminar followed by an open reception
  • Annual Gene Regulation Program summer barbeque


Dr. Michael Carey, director of the Gene Regulation Program, is a professor of biological chemistry. Carey is a co-founder and former instructor of the international Eukaryotic Gene Expression course held annually at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a co-author of the textbook based on the course. His research attempts to understand the molecular details of how different human genes are turned on and off during disease, and he conducts an R01-funded research program on mechanistic aspects of RNA polymerase II transcription.

Co-Director Dr. Siavash Kurdistani is an associate professor of biological chemistry. The overall goal of his research is to understand the dynamics, establishment and maintenance mechanisms of histone modifications. He uses the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to understand the basic biology of histone modifications and apply the learned lessons to higher eukaryotes including murine embryonic stem cells, cancer cell lines and primary human cancer tissues.

Upcoming Events

The following list is for upcoming events and seminars of notable interest to the Gene Regulation Program and its members. This calendar is updated automatically.

For a list of all upcoming JCCC events (including other research programs, patients and survivors, and the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation), please visit the Events Calendar.