Kathleen Burns, M.D., Ph.D.Image

Assistant Professor

Joint appointments: Pathology, Pathobiology Graduate Program, Oncology

Contact Information

Ross Building, Room 524

720 Rutland Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21205.

410-502-7214 (Office)

410-283-6213 (Pager)

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Research Interests

There is evidence that mobile DNAs, transposons and transposon-derived sequences, can contribute to genomic instability and mRNA transcript alterations in the context of neoplasia, and we believe germ-line or inherited insertions also may create predispositions to disease. Many are mobile DNAs are high copy number repeats that have been necessarily excluded from genomic studies, so we understand little about them. Projects in the lab include: (i.) Developing one-sided PCR based assays to map mobile DNAs in the human genome; (ii.) Finding evidence for somatic insertions of mobilized DNAs in cancers, and exploring potential clinical markers and mechanisms underlying this instability; (iii.) Describing common inherited transposon insertion polymorphisms in cancer patients and assessing whether these structural variations contribute to cancer susceptibility or tumor progression.

Selected Publications

  1. Mobile interspersed repeats are major structural variants in the human genome. Huang CR, Schneider AM, Lu Y, Niranjan T, Shen P, Robinson MA, Steranka JP, Valle D, Civin CI, Wang T, Wheelan SJ, Ji H, Boeke JD, Burns KH. Cell. 2010 Jun 25;141(7):1171-82.
  2. Roles of retrotransposons in benign and malignant hematologic disease. Schneider AM, Duffield AS, Symer DE, Burns KH. Cellscience. 2009 Oct 27;6(2):121-145
  3. Great exaptations. Burns KH, Boeke JD. J Biol. 2008;7(2):5.
  4. A descent into the nuage: the maelstrom of transposon control. O'Donnell KA, Burns KH, Boeke JD. Dev Cell. 2008 Aug;15(2):179-81.
  5. GASZ is essential for male meiosis and suppression of retrotransposon expression in the male germline. Ma L, Buchold GM, Greenbaum MP, Roy A, Burns KH, Zhu H, Han DY, Harris RA, Coarfa C, Gunaratne PH, Yan W, Matzuk MM. PLoS Genet. 2009 Sep;5(9):e1000635
  6. Sexually dimorphic roles of steroid hormone receptor signaling in gonadal tumorigenesis. Mol Endocrinol. Burns KH, Agno JE, Chen L, Haupt B, Ogbonna SC, Korach KS, Matzuk MM. 2003 Oct;17(10):2039-52.
  7. Cyclin D2 and p27 are tissue-specific regulators of tumorigenesis in inhibin alpha knockout mice. Burns KH, Agno JE, Sicinski P, Matzuk MM. Mol Endocrinol. 2003 Oct;17(10):2053-69.
  8. Roles of NPM2 in chromatin and nucleolar organization in oocytes and embryos. Burns KH, Viveiros MM, Ren Y, Wang P, DeMayo FJ, Frail DE, Eppig JJ, Matzuk MM. Science. 2003 Apr 25;300(5619):633-6.
  9. Intercellular communication in the mammalian ovary: oocytes carry the conversation. Matzuk MM, Burns KH, Viveiros MM, Eppig JJ. Science. 2002 Jun 21;296(5576):2178-80.
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