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Eugene Oltz, PhD

Professor, Pathology & Immunology

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  • AB (with distinction), Chemistry: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (1982)
  • PhD, Chemistry: Columbia University, New York, NY (1987)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Biochemistry: Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (1987-1991)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital & Dept. of Genetics: Harvard University (1991-1993)


  • 1984 Distinguished Teaching Award, Columbia University
  • 1985-1986 American Chemical Society Graduate Fellowship
  • 1987 Hammett Award for Outstanding Graduate Student, Columbia University Chemistry Department
  • 1987-1990 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Irvington Institute
  • 1990-1993 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cancer Research Institute
  • 1996-1998 Vanderbilt University Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholar
  • 1996-2001 NIH Research Career Development Award
  • 2007 Fellow, Japan Society for Promotion of Science
  • 2008 Impact Award, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
  • 2010 Transformative Research Grant, NIH Director’s Fund
  • 2012-2016 Member, Publications Committee, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2013-2016 Member, CMI-B Study Section
  • 2013-2016 Chair, Publications Committee, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2013-2020 Ex officio member, Council, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2016-2018 Chair, CMI-B Study Section
  • 2015-2017 Director, Immunology Graduate Program, WUSM
  • 2015-2017 Co-Leader, DNA Repair and Metabolism Group, Siteman Cancer Center
  • 2017 Distinguished Service Award, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2017-2020 Chair, Program Committee, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2017- Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Department of Pathology & Immunology

Research Interests

As we forge ahead in the post-genomic era of biomedical research, we are grappling with the realization that many diseases do not originate from lesions or inherited differences in our genomes.  As proof-of-point, genetically identical twins often exhibit distinct appearances or disease susceptibilities as they age.  Instead of having a pure genetic basis, numerous diseases are rooted in the chemical tags placed on DNA or on the proteins that package our genome.  Patterns of these epigenetic modifications, collectively called the epigenome, control the initial phases of gene activation or repression to guide nearly all biological processes, including stem cell differentiation, mammalian development, and aging.  Importantly, disruption of normal epigenetic patterns can have pathological consequences that impact multiple physiologic processes, such as (i) embryonic developed (Prader-Willi and Rett syndromes), (ii) neurobiology (autism and bipolar disorders, mental retardation), (iii) immunobiology (lupus and immunodeficiencies), and (iv) cell homeostasis (cancer of all types).

The Oltz laboratory studies how genetic control elements communicate with epigenetic pathways to orchestrate: (1) aberrant changes in gene expression that underlie non-Hodgkin lymphoma, (2) gene expression programs for normal immune cell development, and (3) long-range changes in chromatin required for the assembly of antigen receptor repertoires.


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Bridget Franklin

Office Location: CSRB, Room 7728