The Workman Laboratory received grant funding through a newly established award called Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The intent of a MIRA grant is to consolidate multiple project grants into one unified grant that supports the investigators' overall research program, thus providing greater stability and flexibility. MIRA grants are awarded for five years. The MIRA grant awarded to the Workman Lab consolidated previous grants held by Jerry Workman, PhD, and his colleague Susan Abmayr, PhD.
The Workman Lab was awarded a MIRA based on the lab’s research strategy of chromatin modifying complexes that includes a focus on the multi-subunit complexes SAGA and SWI/ SNF. Mutations in these and other complexes have been implicated in cancer and other diseases.
While chromatin modifying complexes can contain as many as 10-20 subunits, an overall view of the assembly and organization of the subunits within the complexes is critical to understanding the effects of mutations. And because mutations of different subunits often do not have the same effects on specific cancers, it is important to understand the individual subunit interactions and how they impact chromatin modifying activity.