Michael D. Bulger, Ph.D.

Michael D. Bulger, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 703
Rochester, NY 14642

Research Bio

Dr. Bulger is interested in the interplay between tissue-specific gene expression and large-scale patterns of chromatin structure, as well as mechanisms by which enhancers and locus control regions (LCRs) mediate gene activation over large genomic distances. He addresses these questions using genes up-regulated or specifically expressed during late erythroid differentiation, including the b-globin genes, as models. Ongoing or planned projects in his lab include:

(1) Modeling the formation of active chromatin domains in different experimental systems, including stably integrated transgenes in cell culture and reconstituted minichromosomes in cell-free extracts, in order to determine the cis-acting sequences and DNA-binding protein factors involved in their establishment and maintenance;

(2) Characterizing non-genic transcription within the b-globin locus, as well as other loci, and investigating the relationship between such transcription and domain-wide gene regulation;

(3) Identifying factors that facilitate enhancer-promoter and/or LCR-promoter communication at the b-globin locus, in order to gain clues as to how such communication occurs;

(4) Identifying factors that bind to 3'HS1 of the b-globin locus, which is the most prominent site of attachment to nuclear matrix at this region, in order to investigate the relationship between nuclear architecture and gene expression;

(5) Investigating the role of serine protease inhibitors (serpins) in chromatin condensation and gene regulation in differentiating erythroid cells.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Beckman Young Investigators Award, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation 2006 - Present
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences 2000 - Present
Excellence in Teaching Award, University of California, San Diego, CA 1992

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 29 available »

2010 Mar 15
Bulger M, Groudine M. "Enhancers: the abundance and function of regulatory sequences beyond promoters." Developmental biology. 2010 Mar 15; 339(2):250-7. Epub 2009 Dec 16.
2009 Oct 15
Fromm G, de Vries C, Byron R, Fields J, Fiering S, Groudine M, Bender MA, Palis J, Bulger M. "Histone hyperacetylation within the beta-globin locus is context-dependent and precedes high-level gene expression." Blood. 2009 Oct 15; 114(16):3479-88. Epub 2009 Aug 18.
2009 Oct
Fromm G, Bulger M. "A spectrum of gene regulatory phenomena at mammalian beta-globin gene loci." Biochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire. 2009 Oct; 87(5):781-90.
2009 Feb
Yang SR, Yao H, Rajendrasozhan S, Chung S, Edirisinghe I, Valvo S, Fromm G, McCabe MJ, Sime PJ, Phipps RP, Li JD, Bulger M, Rahman I. "RelB is differentially regulated by IkappaB Kinase-alpha in B cells and mouse lung by cigarette smoke." American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 2009 Feb; 40(2):147-58. Epub 2008 Aug 07.
2008 Jun
Yang SR, Valvo S, Yao H, Kode A, Rajendrasozhan S, Edirisinghe I, Caito S, Adenuga D, Henry R, Fromm G, Maggirwar S, Li JD, Bulger M, Rahman I. "IKK alpha causes chromatin modification on pro-inflammatory genes by cigarette smoke in mouse lung." American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 2008 Jun; 38(6):689-98. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Biology | University of California at San Diego1996
BS | Molecular and Cell Biology | Pennsylvania State University1990

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. 2003