Bernadett Papp, Ph.D

Bernadett Papp_MCM_2467rszResearch Assistant Professor

Department of Oral Biology
1395 Center Drive
Box 100424
Gainesville, FL 32610-0424
Room D10-19
Phone: (352)392-3032
Fax: (352)273-8829



  • Ph.D., European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) & University of Heidelberg – Heidelberg, Germany (2006);   MSc., University of Szeged – Szeged, Hungary (2002)

Research program

My research focuses on molecular mechanisms that control the identity of cells. While cell identity changes naturally occur during development and regeneration, its deregulation can cause diseases. We can also experimentally direct cell fate changes to our benefit. Generation of patient-specific cell types for therapeutic purposes is an important medical goal. This can be achieved by transcription factor-mediated reprogramming of somatic cells to embryonic stem cell-like induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or specific differentiated cell types. My studies and others demonstrated that the reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs is an excellent model system for characterizing the intricate links between cell identity and response to distinct signaling pathways from single-cell level to the global genomic level.

It is still largely unknown how transcriptional factors regulated by various signaling pathways can control the establishment of different cell fates during reprogramming or maintain somatic cell identity. Improper activation of signaling pathways during the reprogramming of somatic cells is a limiting factor for the generation of desired cell types. Thus, my ongoing effort is to dissect the stage-specific functions of signaling regulators in various reprogramming contexts, which can lay the foundation for rational design of improved defined mediums to control specific cell fate changes, which is of high medical importance.

My second research focus is on the role of signaling pathways and transcriptional factors in injury-triggered cell reprogramming during regeneration. It is well known that self-healing of seriously damaged organs is very limited in most mammals. To improve our understanding of regeneration processes, I perform systematic structural-functional studies and specific modulation of signaling pathways to determine the critical factors that are required for facilitating wound healing following injury.

Cell identity can also be deregulated due to environmental factors or various pathogens, which can lead to diseases such as cancer. In collaboration with Dr. Zsolt Toth’s group (Department of Oral Biology), we use next-generation genomics approaches in order to understand the role of cellular and viral transcription factors in the epigenetic reprogramming of human cells during oncogenic viral infection.

By defining the critical transcription factor and signaling pathway circuits that control cell fate changes, we may be able to pinpoint novel targets for therapies.

Research Interest Keywords

stem cells, reprogramming, epigenetic and signaling regulation of cell fate changes, injury and regeneration


Selected Publications

  • Chronis C*, Fiziev* P, Papp B, Butz S, Bonora G, Sabri S, Ernst J, Plath K. (2017) Cooperative Binding of Transcription Factors Orchestrates Reprogramming. Cell, in press * co-first authorship
  • Toth Z, Papp B, Brulois KF, Choi YJ, Gao SJ and Jung JU (2016) LANA-mediated recruitment of host Polycomb Repressive Complexes onto the KSHV genome during de novo infection. PLoS Pathogens, 12(9):e1005878. PMC5015872
  • Pasque* V, Tchieu* J, Karnik R, Uyeda M, Dimashkie A, Case D, Papp B, Bonora G, Patel S, Ho R, Schmidt R, McKee R, Sado T, Tada T, Meissner A, and Plath (2014) X Chromosome Reactivation Dynamics Reveal Stages of Reprogramming to Pluripotency. Cell, 159:1681-1697. PMC4282187. * co-first authorship
  • Papp B, Plath K (2013) Epigenetics of reprogramming to induced pluripotency. Cell, 152(6): 1324-43. PMC3602907. Review
  • Ho* R, Papp* B, Hoffman J.A., Merill B.J., and Plath K. (2013) Stage-specific regulation of reprograming to iPSCs by Wnt signaling and Tcf proteins. Cell Reports, 3:2113-2126. PMC3700671 * co-first authorship
  • Papp B, Plath K (2012) Pluripotency re-centered around Esrrb. The EMBO Journal, 31(22): 4255-7. PMC3501223
  • Papp B, Plath K. (2011) Reprogramming to pluripotency: stepwise resetting of the epigenetic landscape. Cell Research, 21(3):486-501. PMC3193418. Review
  • Hiratani I, Ryba T, Itoh M, Rathjen J, Kulik M, Papp B, Fussner E, Bazett-Jones DP, Plath K, Dalton S, Rathjen PD, Gilbert DM. (2010) Genome-wide dynamics of replication timing revealed by in vitro models of mouse embryogenesis. Genome Research, 20(2):155-69. PMC2813472
  • Gaytan A, Gutierrez L, Fritsch C, Papp B, Beuchle D, Müller, J (2007) A genetic screen identifies novel Polycomb group genes in Drosophila. Genetics, 2007 Aug; 176(4): 2099-108. PMC1950617
  • Nekrasov M, Klymenko T, Fraterman S, Papp B, Oktaba K, Kocher T, Cohen A, Stunnenberg H, Wilm M, Müller, J (2007) Pcl-PRC2 is needed to generate high levels of H3-K27 trimethylation at Polycomb target genes. The EMBO Journal, 2007 Sep 19:26(18):4078-88. PMC1964751
  • Papp B. and Müller J. (2006). Histone tri-methylation and the maintenance of transcriptional ON and OFF states by PcG and trxG proteins. Genes & Development, 20(15):2041-54. PMC1536056
  • Klymenko T, Papp B, Fischle W, Köcher T, Schelder M, Fritsch C, Wild B, Wilm M, Müller J. (2006) A Polycomb group protein complex with sequence-specific DNA-binding and selective methyl-lysine binding activities. Genes & Development, 20(9): 1110-22. PMC1472471

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