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  • B.S. in Biology/Geology, University of Rochester, Department of Geology, Rochester, NY  1983
  • Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Indiana University, Department of Biology 1993
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology 1993-97

Courses taught:   

BIOL 199/299 Principles of Biology Lab; BIOL 250 Genetics; BIOL 251 Genetics Laboratory; BIOL 393 Great Ideas in Biology and Medicine; INPH 591 Special Topics: Cancer Biology

Research:    In our laboratory we examine the regulation of tumor suppressor genes, especially the hereditary breast/ovarian (HBOC) cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. We focus on 1) epigenetic regulation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene transcription, 2) response of tumor suppressors to genomic damage, 3) evolutionary conservation of cis-acting regulators of alternate mRNA splicing, and 4) clinically identified gene sequence variants of unknown significance as they affect alternate splicing patterns and cancer risk.

Recent Publications:

  • Catenacci DVT, Amico AL, Nielsen S, Geynisman DM, Rambo B, Carey GB, Gulden C, Fackenthal J, Marsh RD, Kindler HL, Olopade OI (2014) Tumor genome analysis includes germline genome: are we ready for surprises? Int J Cancer. Doi: 10.1002/ijc.29128 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Churpek JE, Walsh T, Zheng Y, Moton Z, Thornton AM, Lee MK, Casadei S, Watts A, Neistadt B, Churpek MM, Huo D, Zvosec C, Liu F, Niu Q, Zhang J, Fackenthal JD, King M-C, Olopade OI (2014) Inherited predisposition to breast cancer among African American women. Breast Cancer Res Treat 149:31
  • Sighoko D, Fackenthal JD, Hainaut P (2015) Changing in the pattern of breast cancer burden among African-Americans: Evidence based on 29 states and the District of Columbia during 1998-2010. Annals of Epidemiology 25:15.
  • Guindalini RSC, Song A, Fackenthal JD, Olopade OI, Huo D (in press) Genetic anticipation in BRCA1/2 families after controlling for ascertainment bias and cohort effect. 122:1913.
  • Fackenthal JD, Yoshimatsu T, Zhang B, de Garibay G, Colombo M, De Vecchi G, Ayoub S, Lal K, Olopade OI, Vega A, Santamariña M, Blanco A, Wappenschmidt B, Becker A, Houdayer C, Walker L, López-Perolio I, Thomassen M, Parsons M, Whiley P, Block M, Brandão RD, Tserpelis D, Baralle D, Montalban G, Gutiérrez-Enríquez S, Díez O, Lazaro C, kConFaB Investigators, Spurdle AB, Radice P, de la Hoya M, and the ENIGMA Splicing Working Group (2016). Naturally occurring BRCA2 alternate mRNA splicing events in clinically relevant samples. Journal of Medical Genetics 53:548.
James Fackenthal, Ph.D.
Birck 340 |  630-829-1353

Yvonne Kumon
Assistant to the Associate Dean
(630) 829-6084

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Cheryl Mascarenhas, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Science & Health
(630) 829-6587

Tonia Rucker
Senior Assistant to the Dean
(630) 829-6187

Elizabeth Ritt, Ed.D., RN, NEA-BC, CNE
Dean, Science & Health
(630) 829-1933