Leighton Core


Assistant Professor

University of Connecticut
Department of Molecular & Cell Biology
354 Mansfield Road, Unit 1131
Beach Hall 307
Storrs, CT 06269-1131

Phone: 860- 486- 5710
Fax: 860- 486- 1936

Visit Assistant Professor Core’s Website.

Education:  Postdoctoral training: Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University; PhD: Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University; Bachelor’s degree: Biology, Boston College

Research Interests:  My lab is interested in how changes in RNA transcription and processing drive changes or maintenance of cellular states during cellular responses such as development or disease progression. Towards this goal, we primarily apply genomic techniques and bioinformatics to reveal the full transcriptional ‘signatures’ of various cell types as well as uncover the fundamental mechanisms of transcription that underly them.

Selected Publications:

Core, L.J., Martins, A.L., Danko, C.G., Waters, C.T., Siepel, A., and Lis, J.T. (2014) Analysis of nascent RNA identifies a unified architecture of initiation regions at mammalian promoters and enhancers. Nat. Genet.  doi:10.1038/ng.3142

Wang, I.X.*, Core, L.J.*, Kwak, H., Brady, L., Bruzel, A., McDaniel, L., Richards, A.L., Wu, M., Grunseich, C., Lis, J.T., and Cheung, V.G. (2014). RNA-DNA differences are generated in human cells within seconds after RNA exits polymerase II. Cell. Rep. 5, 906-915. *contributed equally

Maxwell, C.S., Kruesi, W.S., Core, L.J., Kurhanewicz, N., Waters, C.T., Lewarch, C.L., Antoshechkin, I., Lis, J.T., Meyer, B.J., and Baugh, L.R. (2014). Pol II docking and pausing at growth and stress genes in C. elegans. Cell. Rep. 3, 455-466.

Saunders, A., Core, L.J., Sutcliffe, C., Lis, J.T., and Ashe, H.L. (2013). Extensive polymerase pausing during Drosophila axis patterning enables high-level and pliable transcription. Genes Dev. 10, 1146-1158.

Danko, C.G., Hah, N., Luo, X., Martins, A.L., Core, L., Lis, J.T., Siepel, A., and Kraus, W.L. (2013). Signaling pathways differentially affect RNA polymerase II initiation, pausing, and elongation rate in cells. Mol. Cell 2, 212-222.

Kilpinen H, Waszak SM, Gschwind AR, Raghav SK, Witwicki RM, Orioli A, Migliavacca E, Wiederkehr M, Gutierrez-Arcelus M, Panousis NI, Yurovsky A, Lappalainen T, Romano-Palumbo L, Planchon A, Bielser D, Bryois J, Padioleau I, Udin G, Thurnheer S, Hacker D, Core LJ, Lis JT, Hernandez N, Reymond A, Deplancke B, Dermitzakis ET. (2013) Coordinated effects of sequence variation on DNA binding, chromatin structure, and transcription. Science, 342

Kruesi, W.S.*, Core, L.J.*, Waters, C.T., Lis, J.T., and Meyer, B.J. (2013). Condensin controls recruitment of RNA polymerase II to achieve nematode X-chromosome dosage compensation. Elife e00808. *contributed equally

Kwak, H., Fuda, N.J., Core, L.J. *, and Lis, J.T. * (2013). Precise maps of RNA polymerase reveal how promoters direct initiation and pausing. Science 6122, 950-953.           *contributed equally

Core, L.J., Waterfall, J.J., Gilchrist, D.A., Fargo, D.C., Kwak, H., Adelman, K., and Lis, J.T. (2012). Defining the status of RNA polymerase at promoters. Cell. Rep. 4, 1025-1035.

Chopra, V.S., Hendrix, D.A., Core, L.J., Tsui, C., Lis, J.T., and Levine, M. (2011). The polycomb group mutant esc leads to augmented levels of paused Pol II in the Drosophila embryo. Mol. Cell 6, 837-844.

Hah, N., Danko, C.G., Core, L., Waterfall, J.J., Siepel, A., Lis, J.T., and Kraus, W.L. (2011). A rapid, extensive, and transient transcriptional response to estrogen signaling in breast cancer cells. Cell 4, 622-634.

Larschan, E., Bishop, E.P., Kharchenko, P.V., Core, L.J., Lis, J.T., Park, P.J., and Kuroda, M.I. (2011). X chromosome dosage compensation via enhanced transcriptional elongation in Drosophila. Nature 7336, 115-118.

Min, I.M., Waterfall, J.J., Core, L.J., Munroe, R.J., Schimenti, J., and Lis, J.T. (2011). Regulating RNA polymerase pausing and transcription elongation in embryonic stem cells. Genes Dev. 7, 742-754.

Core, L.J. , and Lis, J.T. (2009). Paused Pol II captures enhancer activity and acts as a potent insulator. Genes Dev. 14, 1606-1612.

Seila AC, Core LJ, Lis JT, Sharp PA. (2009) Divergent transcription: a new feature of active promoters. Cell Cycle, 8

Core, L.J. *, Waterfall, J.J. *, and Lis, J.T. (2008). Nascent RNA sequencing reveals widespread pausing and divergent initiation at human promoters. Science 5909, 1845-1848. *contributed equally

Core, L.J., and Lis, J.T. (2008). Transcription regulation through promoter-proximal pausing of RNA polymerase II. Science 5871, 1791-1792.

Saunders, A., Core, L.J., and Lis, J.T. (2006). Breaking barriers to transcription elongation. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 8, 557-567.