Jeffrey Dilworth

Position title: Professor


Phone: Phone: (608) 265-3758

RESEARCH INTERESTS – Epigenetic regulation of muscle stem cell-mediated regeneration

Address: 4505 WIMR II – 1111 Highland Ave. – Madison, WI 53705



B.Sc., 1992, Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), Biochemistry

Ph.D., 1997, Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), Biochemistry


The goal of our research program is to understand the mechanisms by which tissue-specific patterns of gene expression are established during development, and how this can be reproduced in stem cells. While our interests cover all transcriptional regulatory factors, our current research focus is transcriptional activators implicated in myogenesis. This system has become the paradigm for studying gene expression during development due to the fact that exogenous expression of MyoD in a large number of cell lines is sufficient to initiate a temporally ordered and reproducible program of gene regulation leading to muscle differentiation. To understand how MyoD establishes muscle specific gene expression, our group is using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics.

Representative Publications

Nakka, S. Hachmer, Z. Mokhtari, R. Kovac, H. Bandukwala, C. Bernard, Y. Li, G. Xie, C. Liu, M. Fahalli, L. Megeney, J. Gondin, B. Chazaud, M. Brand, X. Zha, K. Ge, and F.J. Dilworth. JMJD3 activated hyaluronan synthesis drives muscle regeneration in an inflammatory environment. Science 377: 666-669, 2022.

D. Robinson, M. Ritso, G. Nelson, Z. Mokhtari, K. Nakka, H. Bandukwala, S. Goldman, P. Park, R. Mounier, B. Chazaud, M. Brand, M. Rudnicki, K. Adelman, F.J. Dilworth. Negative elongation factor regulates muscle progenitor expansion for efficient myofiber repair and stem cell pool repopulation. Dev Cell 56: 1014-1029, 2021.

M. Brand, K. Nakka, J. Zhu, and F.J. Dilworth. Polycomb/Trithorax Antagonism: Cellular Memory in Stem Cell Fate and Function. Cell Stem Cell 4: 518-533, 2019.

H. Faralli, C. Wang, A. Benyoucef, S. Sebastian, L. Zhuang, A. Chu, C. Palii, C. Liu, B. Camellato, M. Brand, K. Ge, and F.J. Dilworth. H3K27-demethylase activity of UTX/KDM6A is essential for skeletal muscle regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation 126: 1555-1565, 2016.

S. Sebastian, H. Faralli, Z. Yao, P. Rakopoulos, C. Palii, Y. Cao, K. Singh, Q-C. Liu, A. Chu, A. Aziz, M. Brand, S.J. Tapscott, and F.J. Dilworth. Tissue-specific splicing of a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor is essential for muscle differentiation. Genes & Dev 27: 1247-1259, 2013.

S. Rampalli, L. Li, E. Mak, K. Ge, M. Brand, S.J. Tapscott, and F.J. Dilworth. p38 MAPK signaling pathway regulates recruitment of Ash2L-containing methyltransferase complexes to specific genes during differentiation. Nature Struct Mol Biol 14: 1150-1156, 2007.