The Burns laboratory is located in the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We study mobile DNAs and their effects on mammalian genomes.
Mobile DNAs give rise to interspersed repeats, sequences that comprise the majority of our genomes. These sequences have been historically understudied – both because they have been presumed to be unimportant, and because high copy number repeats can pose experimental challenges. Neither impediment now seems steadfast. Interest in the functional mobilome has never been greater, and many roles for mobile DNAs and interspersed repeats in disease have been proposed. The overarching goal of our laboratory is to characterize these sequences, their expression, and how they contribute to disease.