Brian D. Strahl

Brian D. Strahl


UNC Chapel Hill


About Me

 Brian D. Strahl - Professional Summary:  
A research scientist at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, Brian Strahl possesses over 15 years’ of experience in the field of chromatin biology and epigenetics.  Specializing in the role of histone proteins, Dr. Strahl has published numerous scientific studies and won several awards from his alma maters, as well as from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the White House. Brian Strahl currently has several NIH and a NSF funded projects underway at UNC to study how gene transcription occurs in chromatin, and how the 'histone code' is formed and functions.  Following his doctorate degree program at North Carolina State University, Brian Strahl began his postdoctoral work at the University of Virginia (UVA). Mentored by Dr. C. David Allis, a prominent chromatin researcher in UVA’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Dr. Strahl completed his postdoctoral fellowship in 2001. Brian Strahl accepted the role of Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, earning a promotion to Associate Professor in 2008, and then full professor in 2014. Dr. Strahl teaches medical and graduate students in the classroom, and mentors undergraduates, graduate and postdoctoral fellows in his lab. He is also the Vice Chair in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, and is the Faculty Director of the UNC High-Throughput Peptide Syntesis and Array Facility.
Brian Strahl’s work at UNC has earned considerable recognition: most recently, he won the UNC 2009 Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. He has garnered recognition from his alma maters, the NIH, and the White House, where he was honored in 2003 as a rising star in the scientific community. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and institutions of higher learning across the country. Prior to beginning his research, Brian D. Strahl earnd a dual Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Brian D. Strahl - Professional Experience:   
UNC Chapel Hill and School of Medicine
Academics; Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Director of Graduate Studies
Faculty Director of the UNC Peptide Synthesis and Arraying Core Facility
Chapel Hill, NC US
12/17/2001 — Present
Brian D. Strahl - Education:  
University of Virginia
Postdoctoral Fellow
North Carolina State University
Department of Biochemistry
UNC at Greensboro
Chemistry and Biology

Papers (2013-2014)

Cai, L., Rothbart, S. B., Lu, R., Xu, B., Tripathy, A., Chen, W.-Y., Zheng, D., Patel, D. J., Allis, C. D., Strahl, B. D., Song, J., Wang, G. G. (2013) An H3K36 methylation-engaging Tudor motif of polycomb-like proteins mediates PRC2 complex targeting. Molecular Cell. 49:571-582.

Law, J. A., Du, J., Hale, C. J., Feng, S., Krajewski, K., Strahl, B. D., Patel, D. J. & Jacobsen, S. E. (2013) SHH1 recruits RNA Polymerase-IV to RNA-directed DNA methylation targets. Nature. 498:385-389.

Rothbart, S. B., Dickson, B. M., Ong, M. S., Krajewski, K., Houliston, S., Kireev, D. B., Arrowsmith, C. H. & Strahl, B. D. (2013) Multivalent histone engagement by the linked tandem Tudor and PHD domains of UHRF1 is required for the epigenetic inheritance of DNA methylation. Genes & Development. 27:1288-1298.

Ali, M., Rincon-Arano, H., Zhao., W., Rothbart, S. B., Tong, Q., Parkhurst, S., Strahl B. D., Deng, L.-W., Groudine, M., Kutateladze, T. G. (2013) Molecular basis for chromatin binding and regulation of MLL5. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:11296-11301.

Gatchalian, J., Fütterer, A., Rothbart, S. B.,Tong, Q., Rincon-Arano, H., Sánchez de Diego, A. Groudine, M., Strahl, B. D., Martínez-A, C., van Wely, H. M. K. & Kutateladze, T. G. Dido3 PHD modulates cell differentiation and division. (2013) Cell Reports. 11:148-158.

Kinkelin, K., Wozniak, G. G., Rothbart, S. B., Lidschreiber, M., Strahl B. D. & Cramer, P. Structures of RNA polymerase II complexes with Bye1, a chromatin-binding PHF3/DIDO1 homologue. (2013) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:15277-15282.

McDaniel S. L. & Strahl, B. D. (2013) Stress-Free with Rpd3: A unique chromatin complex mediates the response to oxidative stress. Mol Cell Biol. 33:3726-3727.

Hattori, T., Taft, J., Swift, K., Luo, H., Witt, H., Slattery, M., Koide, A., Ruthenburg, A. J., Krajewski, K., Strahl, B. D., White, K. P., Farnham, P. J., Zhao, Y., Koide, S. (2013) Recombinant antibodies to histone posttranslational modifications. Nature Methods. 10:992-995.

Dronamraju, R. & Strahl B. D. (2014) A feed forward circuit comprising Spt6, Ctk1 and PAF regulates Pol II CTD phosphorylation and transcription elongation. Nucleic Acids Research. 42(2):870-881.

Klein, B. J., Piao, L., Xi, Yuanxin, Rincon-Arano, H., ROthbart, S. B., Larson, C., Wen, H., Zheng, X., Cortazar, M., Pena, P. V., Mangan, A., Bentley, D. L., Strahl, B. D., Groudine, M., Li, W., Shi, X., Kutateladze, T. G. (2014) The histone-H3K4-specific demethylase KDM5B binds to its substrate and product through distinct PHD dingers. Cell Reports. 6:1-11.

Kim, H.-S., Mukhopadhyay, R., Rothbart, S. B., Silva, A. C., Vanoosthuyse, V., Radovani, E., Kislinger, T., Roguev, A., Ryan, C. J., Xu, J., Jahari, H., Hardwick, K., G., Greenblatt, J. F., Krogan, N. J., Fillingham, J., S., Strahl, B. D., Bouhassira, E., E., Edelmann, W. & Keogh, M.-C. Identification of a novel Bromodomain/Casein Kinase II/TAF-containing complex as a regulator of mitotic condensin function. Cell Reports. 6:1-14.

Rothbart S. B. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) Interpreting the language of histone and DNA modifications. BBA - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms. 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2014.03.001.

Wozniak, G. G. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) Hitting the 'Mark': Interpreting Lysine Methylation in the Context of Active Transcription. BBA - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms. 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2014.03.002.

Greer, E. L., Beese-Sims, S. E., Spadafora, R., Rothbart, S. B., Badeaux, A. I., Strahl, B. D., Colaiácovo, M. P. & Shi, Y. A (2014) histone methylation network regulates transgenerational epigenetic memory in C. elegans. Cell Reports. 7:113-26.

Jha, D. K. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) H3K36 methylation regulates chromatin remodeling and checkpoint activation after DSB. Nature Commun. 5:3965.

Shanle, E. K., Rothbart, S. B. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) Chromatin biochemistry enters the next generation of code ‘seq-ing’ Nature Methods. 11:799-800.

Wozniak, G. G. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) Catalysis-dependent stabilization of Bre1 fine-tunes histone H2B ubiquitylation to regulate gene transcription. Genes and Development. 28:1647-1652.

Jha, D. K. & Strahl, B. D. (2014) SET-ing the stage for DNA repair. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 5:655-657.

Gilbert, T. M.*, McDaniel, S. L.*, Byrum., S. D., Cades, J. A., Dancy, B. C. Y, Wade, H., Tackett, A. J., Strahl, B. D.* & Taverna, S. D.* (2014) A H3K36me3 binding PWWP protein targets the NuA3 acetyltransferase complex to coordinate transcriptional elongation at coding regions. In Press at Mol Cell Proteomics.

Brian D. Strahl - Awards and Honors

2009 Recipient of the Ruth and Phillip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and  
                Scholarly Achievement, UNC

2008 Recipient of an Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling
                Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) award from the NIH

2006 Named as a Jefferson-Pilot Fellow in Academic Medicine, UNC

2006 Recipient of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Young
                Alumni Award

2005 Recipient of the North Carolina State University Outstanding Alumnus

2005 Recipient of the ASBMB Schering-Plough Research Institute Award for
                outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology

2004 Pew Scholar (Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences)

2003 Recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and
                Engineers  (PECASE)

2002 Recipient of a UNC Research Council award

Brian D. Strahl - Other Professional Experience:

2013-present Editorial board member of Epigenetics & Chromatin

2012 Ad-hoc reviewer for the NIH transformative research award
                 initiative (Special Emphasis Panel ZRG1 BCMB-A), NIH

2012 Ad-hoc reviewer for the NIH Director’s Early Independence    
                 Award (Special Emphasis Panel ZRG1 BBBP-E), NIH

2009-present        Editorial board member of Molecular and Cellular Biology

2008               Ad-hoc reviewer; Fungal Genetics Special Emphasis Panel,

2006       Ad-hoc review panel member for NIDA Study Section, NIH

2005       Ad-hoc review panel member for MG-C Study Section, NIH


About the company

 Brian Strahl's lab is located in the Genetic Medicine Building at UNC Chapel Hill.  In the Strahl lab, we focus on the role of histones and their post-translational modifications. We aim to understand how the modification of histone proteins contributes to organization and function of chromatin. To do this, we take advantage of multiple model organisms including the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human cells. Our long-term goal is to understand how the distinct types of modifications known to occur on histones (e.g. methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, etc.) contribute to a possible ‘histone code’ (Brian D. Strahl & C. David Allis, Nature 2000) and to human biology and disease.

Contact Information


3060 Genetic Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
United States