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Justin Sperlazza

Justin SperlazzaEducation:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.S. in Biochemistry (2009)
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisor: Gordon Ginder, PhD
Graduate Program: Human and Molecular Genetics


Research Interests:

Justin’s lab focuses on the mechanisms of epigenetic control on DNA expression. His research will be focused on determining the role DNA methylation has on repressing tumor suppressor expression in various cancer models. Additionally, he will be working on developing a protein therapeutic to inhibit tumor growth.

Personal Bio:

Justin was born in Buffalo, N.Y., but has spent most of his life in Richmond, Va. While in college, Justin worked in a cancer research lab at Duke University and a structural biology lab at UNC. In spite of his work at Duke University, he always roots for the Tar Heels! He was also an EMT at the local community EMS squad all while being on a nationally-competitive counter-strike team.


Orans J, Johnson MD, Coggan KA, Sperlazza JR, Heiniger RW, Wolfgang MC, Redinbo MR.. Crystal structure analysis reveals Pseudomonas PilY1 as an essential calcium-dependent regulator of bacterial surface motility. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2010 Jan 19;107(3):1065-70.

Petersen RP, Campa MJ, Sperlazza J, Conlon D, Joshi MB, Harpole DH Jr, Patz EF Jr. Tumor infiltrating Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells are associated with recurrence in pathologic stage I NSCLC patients. Cancer. 2006 Dec 15;107(12):2866-72.