The Department of Chromatin Regulation is headed by Asifa Akhtar. The major research goal of this department is to study the chromatin and epigenetic mechanisms underlying gene regulation using dosage compensation in Drosophila as a powerful model system to study chromatin regulation at individual gene level as well from a chromosomal perspective. The team is addressing how the dosage compensation complex, composed of RNA and proteins (the MSL complex) is specifically targeted to the X chromosome. Furthermore, they are investigating whether chromosome organization and nuclear architecture contribute to transcription activity and how this influences X chromosomal regulation. Ultimately, the department would like to understand the molecular mechanism by which dosage compensation modulates X chromosomal transcriptional output.