Dr. Kyle Schachtschneider, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also holds appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is strongly committed to an academic career in translational cancer research where he seeks to integrate multi-omics and gene editing approaches to uncover and alter molecular mechanisms driving tumorigenesis, facilitating development of personalized tumor models, improved early detection and prognostic biomarkers, and improved treatment stratification in clinical practice. As cancer is driven by the accumulation of genetic driver mutations that confer selective growth advantages, these techniques hold promise for improving treatment strategies for a wide range of human malignancies including solid tumors and hematological cancers. His current research projects utilize genomic and epigenomic data to elucidate the mechanisms underlying clinically relevant hepatocellular carcinoma tumor phenotypes in preclinical and clinical settings.
Dr. Schachtschneider graduated with a bachelor in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, and received his PhD in Animal Sciences from the same institution in 2013 as part of the Comparative Genomics Lab headed by Dr. Schook. His doctoral research consisted of demonstrating the utility of fecal transplantation as a therapeutic tool to modulate the gastrointestinal microbiome and alter systemic immune responses in a porcine biomedical model. Following the completion of his doctoral training, Dr. Schachtschneider worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre at Wageningen University, the Netherlands performing next generation sequencing analysis to investigate genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic variation associated with healthy and disease states in porcine biomedical models. These projects included production of the first porcine genome-wide DNA methylation map spanning multiple tissues of biomedical importance, identification of epigenetic mechanisms underlying reduced cognitive development in response to early-life environmental insults, and transcriptomic profiling of soft-tissue sarcoma and hepatocellular carcinoma samples from a transgenic porcine cancer model (Oncopig). Dr. Schachtschneider was also involved in the Great Tit genome sequencing initiative, demonstrating the conserved functional role of non-CpG methylation in mammalian and avian brain, a form of neuronal gene regulation previously thought to be limited to mammals. This led to the discovery of a novel link between neuronal non-CpG methylation and transposable element activity.
Following his time overseas, Dr. Schachtschneider joined the Department of Radiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop epigenetic and bioinformatics-based projects to compliment the clinically focused research efforts of the Department. He is currently developing and characterizing sarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver cirrhosis models in the Oncopig Cancer Model, and utilizing multi-omics datasets and gene editing technologies to elucidate the mechanisms underlying tumor biology and the impact of the tumor microenvironment on treatment responses and clinically relevant phenotypes in both preclinical and clinical settings.