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Kevin Gardner, M.D., Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Kevin Gardner
Genetics Branch
Head, Transcription Regulation Section
Senior Investigator
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 41, Room D804B
Bethesda, MD 20892


Dr. Gardner received his B.S. from Yale University and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he studied the regulation of membrane skeletal proteins in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy. He completed residency training in anatomic pathology at the National Cancer Institute and is board certified in Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Gardner has had a long term interest in the cellular and molecular biology of gene regulation and, while at NIH, has been developing strategies to define pathways and mechanisms of transcriptional control in cancers of lymphoid and epithelial origin. Dr. Gardner is a member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Pathology the International Journal of Medical Sciences, the Open Clinical Chemistry Journal, the Molecular Cancer Biology Journal, and the American Journal of Translational Research. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and was a recipient of an NIH Director's award in 2007 and 2011.


Our laboratory studies chromatin-based mechanisms of transcriptional control and how they govern gene expression programs in response to extrinsic and intrinsic environmental clues during health and disease. To accomplish this, the lab has focused on the mechanisms of gene regulatory control by transcriptional co-regulators. Generically these are transcriptional regulators that do not bind to DNA specifically but are recruited to gene regulatory regions by DNA-specific transcription factors to change or modify chromatin accessibility to facilitate or prevent the assembly of the basal transcriptional machinery that controls gene expression. Thus a major research focus in the lab is the role of epigenetic modifications in the control of gene expression and cellular phenotypic change. Our group studies several different cellular systems that are relevant to lymphoid and epithelial malignancies. The most recent concentration has been on gene regulatory processes important in the evolution of leukemia and the mechanisms of breast cancer tumor initiation and progression. Using these approaches, in combination with my perspective as a pathologist, we have assembled a research program that incorporates molecular, biochemical, and cell biological methodology with genome-wide bioinformatics and computational technology to assemble a research portfolio that we are leveraging, through multi-disciplinary translational applications, to define molecular links between race, lifestyle, the environment, and disease.

Current work in the laboratory falls into two major areas of basic research, each with translational application to diagnosing, treating, and understanding human malignancies: 1.) The Mechanism of Transcriptional Control by p300-ELL complexes. 2.) Transcriptional regulation by BRCA1-associated coregulator complexes.

This page was last updated on 11/7/2013.