Andrew S Belmont

Andrew S Belmont

Office: (217) 244-2311
Lab: (217) 333-8372
Fax: (217) 244-1648

Mail to: Dept of Cell and Developmental Biology
University of Illinois
601 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page
Curriculum Vita

Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor of Biophysics and Quantitative Biology

Research Topics

Chromatin Structure, Imaging, Regulation of Gene Expression


A.B., Princeton University (Physics)
M.D./Ph.D., Temple University (Biophysics)
Postdoc., University of California-San Francisco

Chromatin Structure, Gene expression, Nuclear Architecture

We are interested in how 10 and 30 nm chromatin fibers fold into interphase and mitotic chromosomes, how interphase chromosomes are moved and positioned within nuclei, and what this means for DNA functions such as transcription and replication. Currently, our understanding of these higher levels of chromatin organization, which we refer to as large-scale chromatin structure, is poor. We use a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and microscopy to visualize nuclear positioning and folding dynamics of specific chromosome regions and individual gene loci and to relate this to regulation of transcription and replication.

Most recently we have begun to apply our knowledge of chromosome dynamics to design improved tools for gene therapy and biotechnology. We have also developed TSA-Seq, a new genomic method providing a direct readout of how interphase chromosomes are positioned within nuclei.

Representative Publications

Publication List (updated last 7/16):

Deng, X, Zhironkina, O.A., Cherepanynets, V.D., Strelkova, O.S., Kireev, I.I., Belmont, A.S., Cytology of DNA Replication Reveals Dynamic Plasticity of Large-scale Chromatin Fibers, Current Biology, in press

Arash, T., Zhang, Y., Wei, F., Sun, J., Jia, Q., Zhou, W., Singh, R., Khanna, N., Belmont, A.S., Wang, N., Transcription upregulation via force-induced direct stretching of chromatin, Nature Materials, in press

Khanna, N., Hu, Y., A.S. Belmont, Hsp70 transgene directed motion to nuclear speckles facilitates shock activation. Current Biology 24:1138-1144 (2014)

Belmont A.S. Large-scale chromatin organization: The good, the surprising, and the still perplexing. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 26:69-78 (2014)

Bian, Q., Khanna, N., Alvikas, J., A.S. Belmont, Beta-Globin cis-elements determine differential nuclear targeting through epigenetic modifications, J. Cell Biol. 203: 767-783 (2013)

Revisiting higher-order and large-scale chromatin organization. Bian, Q. and A.S. Belmont, Curr Opin Cell Biol. 24:359-366 (2012)

Insights into interphase large-scale chromatin structure from analysis of engineered chromosome regions. Belmont AS, Hu Y, Sinclair PB, Wu W, Bian Q, Kireev I., Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 75:453-460. (2010)

Hu, Y., Plutz, M., A. S. Belmont, Hsp70 gene-nuclear speckle association is Hsp70 promoter specific, JCB 191:711-719 (2010)

Bian, Q, A.S. Belmont, BAC TG-Embed: one step method for high-level, copy-number-dependent, position-independent transgene expression, Nucleic Acids Res. 38(11):e127 (2010)

Hu, Y., Kireev, I., Plutz, M., Ashourian, N., A.S. Belmont, Large-scale chromatin structure of inducible genes: transcription on a condensed, linear template, J. Cell. Biol. 185: 87-100 (2009)

Complete Publications List