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Dr. Mamta Tahiliani joins the Developmental Genetics and Molecular Pathogenesis Programs at the Skirball Institute and the Department of Biochemistry in January of 2011. During her graduate work with Anjana Rao, she studied the dynamic nature of covalent chromatin modifications. In collaboration with Yujiang Shi, she demonstrated that SMCX is a novel histone demethylase with a role in neuronal gene regulation. More recently, she discovered that the enzyme TET1 catalyzes the conversion of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC) in mammalian DNA. She showed that hmC is present in the genome of mouse embryonic stem cells and that hmC levels decrease when embryonic stem cells differentiate.