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Work from the Adelman laboratory has contributed significantly to our understanding of gene regulation, especially within environmentally- or developmentally-responsive networks. The ability to rapidly integrate multiple extra- and intra-cellular signals to produce a specific pattern of gene expression is essential for the growth, development and survival of all organisms; however, the mechanisms that generate and coordinate these responses remain poorly understood. The Adelman laboratory investigates the interplay between environmental stimuli, chromatin architecture and transcription by RNA polymerase II, with a focus on the regulation of early transcription elongation. By expanding our understanding of how cells react to stimuli in a dynamic, yet equilibrated manner, work in the Adelman group has provided fundamental new insights into gene-environment interactions and the mechanisms that maintain normal patterns of gene expression.