The Hansen lab will investigate how genetic elements, known as enhancers, control the expression of genes in cancer. Notably, enhancers can be quite far away from the genes they control. The enhancers that regulate c-Myc, a gene commonly expressed in high levels in cancer, are amplified in lung and endometrial cancers. However, it is not well understood how having more copies of the enhancer actually drives the uptick in c-Myc expression. Using a combination of single-molecule and super-resolution live-cell imaging methods along with gene-editing tools, our lab will examine how long-range DNA loops are formed to promote functional interactions between enhancers and their target genes, and how that drives gene expression. This work will provide visual and real-time confirmation on how enhancers communicate with far away genes, and ultimately identify new therapeutic approaches to treat cancers driven by the overexpression of c-Myc.