Genetics/Epigenetics

Susan Dymecki, MD, PhD

Susan Dymecki, MD, PhD

Harvard Medical School

The step-by-step differentiation of embryonic cells into different types of neurons lays the foundation for our sensory responses, motor commands, and cognitive behaviors. Our research explores such differentiation programs in mammals using a combination of genetic, embryological, and molecular biological methods. While the generation of such neural diversity is a complex process culminating in the most sophisticated of wiring circuits, one simplifying approach is to start by tracking the specification, differentiation, and migration paths taken by specific sets of cells originating from primitive neuroectoderm.

Yick W. Fong, PhD

Yick W. Fong, PhD

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Transcriptional mechanisms of pluripotency and cellular reprogramming

We study key transcriptional and gene regulatory events that lead to the acquisition and maintenance of pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs).  ESCs can self-renew or differentiate to produce most of the cells of the body. These distinct but developmentally relevant cell fates are defined by their unique gene expression signatures. Proper execution of these developmental programs requires the precise tuning of gene expression by transcription factors, coactivators and corepressors.  Indeed, aberrant transcriptional regulation is the root of many human diseases including developmental disorders, cancers and degenerative diseases. 

Winston Hide, PhD

Winston Hide, PhD

Harvard School of Public Health

Understanding development arising from stem cells using molecular profiles like gene expression microarray, genome wide methylation marks, RNASeq, and histone mark dynamics is currently our state of the art. All of these approaches measure a single dimension of molecular event. How can this be translated to how the cell is functioning at the developmental time point, and how can this be compared between experiments that are using different platforms, cell types, and whatever else?

Richard C. Mulligan, PhD

Richard C. Mulligan, PhD

Harvard Medical School

The Mulligan laboratory continues to be interested in the development of methods for the introduction of genes into mammalian cells, and the application of those methods in a numbers of areas of biology and medicine.

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH

Harvard University Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
The Broad Institute

Our goal is to understand how naturally occurring human genetic variation protects (or predisposes) some people to cardiovascular and metabolic disease—the leading cause of death in the world—and to use that information to develop therapies that can protect the entire population from disease.

Stuart Orkin, MD

Stuart Orkin, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston Children's Hospital
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The laboratory utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to understand how mammalian cells choose specific fates and how mutations in important transcriptional regulators lead to developmental defects or malignancy.

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School

The research carried out in our laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms and the genetics underlying the pathogenesis of human cancer as well as in modeling cancer in vivo in model systems such as the mouse.

John Quackenbush, PhD

John Quackenbush, PhD

Harvard School of Public Health
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Our research group focuses on methods spanning the laboratory to the laptop that are designed to use genomic and computational approaches to reveal the underlying biology. In particular, we have been looking at patterns of gene expression in cancer with the goal of elucidating the networks and pathways that are fundamental in the development and progression of the disease.