Benjamin Tu is investigating the relationship between cellular metabolism, nutrition, and fundamental regulatory processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, and translation. For example, working in yeast, Tu and his team identified two fundamental gauges of cellular metabolic states – the small molecules acetyl-CoA and S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) – that are involved in epigenetic modifications of chromatin and regulation of cell growth. The team now wants to better understand how cells cope with a scarcity of methyl donor SAM. Working in mice, they are exploring this and other links between metabolism and cell growth in mammals. This work has implications for understanding cancer and a variety of potentially debilitating diseases linked to metabolism.