David J. Segal, Ph.D. - IDDRC Investigator

David J. Segal, Ph.D.

Associate Director, UC Davis Genome Center, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, MIND Institute, UC Davis School of Medicine
UC Davis Genome Center
451 Health Sciences Drive
Davis, California 95616

Phone: 530-754-9134 / Fax: 530-754-9658
E-mail: djsegal@ucdavis.edu 

Areas of Interest

Angelman Syndrome, Genome Engineering, Zinc Fingers, TALEN, CRISPR, Gene Therapy, Gene Regulation, Epigenetics, Animal Models, Induced pluripotent stem cells


Almost every disease has a genetic component. Often this information is used only to determine how condemned a person is to develop disease. The Segal lab would like to use the genetic information to fix the disease. A guiding principle for our work has been to study how nature does what it does, then attempt to use that knowledge to make useful tools to improve public health, either through increased knowledge or therapeutic intervention. Projects in the Segal Lab revolve around engineering zinc finger, TALE, or CRISPR DNA-binding proteins for specific applications, such as: epigenetic therapy for Angelman and Rett Syndromes, gene therapy to create permanent disruptors of the HIV genome; and studying genetic variation and human diseases, specifically SNP functions in Coronary Artery Disease.

Current IDDRC Projects

  • FAST Integrative Research Environment (FIRE) Initiative, Found. Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics
  • Gene Therapy for Childhood Neurofibromatosis, DOD CDMRP NFRP W81XWH-13-1-0101
  • Reactivation of maternally-silenced genes in PWS, Foundation for Prader-Willi Research

Recent Representative Publications

Bhakta, M.S., Henry, I.M., Ousterout, D.G., Theva Das, K., Lockwood, S.H., Meckler, J.F., Wallen, M.C., Zykovich, As, Yu, Y., Leo, H., Xu, L., Gersbach, C.A. and Segal, D.J. (2013) Highly Active Zinc-Finger Nucleases by Extended Modular Assembly, Genome Research, 23:530-538.

Meckler, J.F., Bhakta, M.S., Kim, M-S., Ovadia, R., Habrian, C.H., Zykovich, A., Yu, A., Lockwood, S.H., Morbitzer, R., Elsäesser, J., Lahaye, T., Segal, D.J., and Baldwin, E.P. (2013) Quantitative Analysis of TALE-DNA Interactions Suggests Polarity Effects, Nucleic Acids Res, 41:4118-4128.

Segal, D.J. and Meckler, J.F., (2013) Genome Engineering at the Dawn of the Golden Age, Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet, 14:135–158.

Owens, J.B., Mauro, D., Stoytchev, I., Bhakta, M.S., Kim, M.-S., Segal, D.J. and Moisyadi, S. (2013) Transcription activator like effector (TALE) directed piggyBac transposition in human cells. Nucleic Acids Res, 41:9197-9207. (PMID: 23921635)

Johnson, L.M., Du, J., Hale, C.J., Bischof, S, Feng, S., Chodavarapu, R.K., Zhong, X., Marson, G., Pellegrini, M., Segal, D.J., Patel, D.J., Jacobsen, S.E. (2014) SRA/SET domain-containing proteins link RNA polymerase V occupancy to DNA methylation. Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature12931