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. 37 available »

2015 Feb
Bulger M, Palis J. "Environmentally-defined enhancer populations regulate diversity of tissue-resident macrophages." Trends in immunology. 2015 Feb; 36(2):61-2. Epub 2015 Jan 07.
Cadiz-Rivera B, Fromm G, de Vries C, Fields J, McGrath KE, Fiering S, Bulger M. "The chromatin "landscape" of a murine adult ?-globin gene is unaffected by deletion of either the gene promoter or a downstream enhancer." PloS one. 2014 9(5):e92947. Epub 2014 May 09.
2012 Nov 2
Bulger M. "Maps for changing landscapes: viewing epigenomic signatures through differentiation." Cell stem cell. 2012 Nov 2; 11(5):581-2.
Sundar IK, Chung S, Hwang JW, Lapek JD, Bulger M, Friedman AE, Yao H, Davie JR, Rahman I. "Mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1) regulates cigarette smoke-induced histone modifications on NF-?B-dependent genes." PloS one. 2012 7(2):e31378. Epub 2012 Feb 01.
2011 May 12
Fromm G, Cadiz-Rivera B, de Vries C, Getman M, McGrath KE, Kingsley PD, Fields J, Fiering S, Bulger M. "An embryonic stage-specific enhancer within the murine ?-globin locus mediates domain-wide histone hyperacetylation." Blood. 2011 May 12; 117(19):5207-14. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Current Appointments

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


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