26689-O'Hagan, Heather

Heather M. O'Hagan, PhD

Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Phone 812-855-3035
JH 108
1001 E. 3rd St.

Bloomington, IN 47405


Dr. Heather M. O’Hagan earned a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Mats Ljungman focused on mechanisms of activation of the tumor suppressor gene p53 after DNA damage and the inhibition of transcription. Dr. O’Hagan completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Baylin at the Johns Hopkins University where she researched DNA damage-induced epigenetic alterations and how the epigenetic silencing of key genes contributes to carcinogenesis. In 2013, Dr. O’Hagan joined the Indiana University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and the Medical Sciences Program. The long-term goal of her group is to gain a better understanding of the mechanism and molecular progression of inflammation-induced epigenetic alterations to develop treatments that reverse these epigenetic changes after exposure and therefore reduce disease formation.

For more information on the research being done in the O'Hagan laboratory please go to http://ohaganlab-iu.strikingly.com/.

Key Publications

Ding N, Miller S, Savant SS, O’Hagan HM. (2018) JAK2 regulates mismatch repair protein-mediated epigenetic alterations in response to oxidative damage. Environmental & Molecular Mutagenesis. Adv Online Pub.

Maiuri AR, Li H, Stein BD, Tennessen JM, O'Hagan HM. (2018) Inflammation-induced DNA methylation of DNA polymerase gamma alters the metabolic profile of colon tumors. Cancer Metabolism. 6:9.

Maiuri AR, Peng M, Sriramkumar S, Kamplain CM, DeStefano Shields CE, Sears CL, O'Hagan HM. (2017) Mismatch Repair Proteins Initiate Epigenetic Alterations during Inflammation-Driven Tumorigenesis. Cancer Res. 77(13):3467-3478. Selected as a NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month.

Ding N, Bonham EM, Hannon BE, Amick TR, Baylin SB and O'Hagan HM. (2016). Mismatch repair proteins recruit DNA methyltransferase 1 to sites of oxidative DNA damage. J Mol Cell Bio. 8(3): 244-54. 

O'Hagan HM, Wang W, Sen S, Destefano Shields C, Lee SS, Zhang YW, Clements EG, Cai Y, Van Neste L, Easwaran H, Casero RA, Sears CL and Baylin SB. (2011). Oxidative damage targets complexes containing DNA methyltransferases, SIRT1, and polycomb members to promoter CpG islands. Cancer Cell. 20(5): 606-19. 

O'Hagan HM, Mohammad HP and Baylin SB. (2008). Double strand breaks can initiate gene silencing and SIRT1-dependent onset of DNA methylation in an exogenous promoter CpG island. PLoS Genet. 4(8): e1000155.

Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

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