aj lab


Our work focuses on the formation and regulation of chromatin domains and their ultimate roles in the nucleus. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms of heterochromatin establishment and function. Heterochromatin operates in organisms from yeast to humans to determine cell identity and maintain genome stability by silencing genes. Because heterochromatin functions in such central processes, misregulation of this genomic structure can have dire consequences such as cancer or abnormal development. Our work investigates the mechanisms by which silencing is carried out. We use a combination of in vitro assembly of chromatin domains, mechanistic biochemistry, proteomic analysis, and genome-wide chromatin profiling to understand the complex superstructural “neighborhoods” of chromosomes.

Research in the lab



.March 2013 After backpacking in Patagonia, Emily Knouf has joined the AJ Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow!

.February 2013 The AJ Lab is growing! We will have three rotation students for the next few months: Stacye Moslet, Visanti Dostal, and Erik Hartwick.

.Nov 2012 A warm welcome to our AJ lab’s new rotaiton student, Maggie Balas.

.Sept 2012 Welcome Alexis Zukowski, AJ lab’s first rotation student!

.Apr 2012 Welcome Pingyao Zeng, joining as a Research Instructor

.Apr 2012 Congratulations, Matthew on your MA!

.Feb 2012 Welcome Karly Hudson, joining as a PRA

.Jan 2012 Welcome Matthew Peetz, joining as a PRA

.Jan 2012 Aaron’s lab opens for business

more news...


Aaron Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

University of Colorado School of Medicine