Welcome To Black Lab.

The Black Lab is answering the most pressing questions in chromosome biology, such as:

  • How does genetic inheritance actually work?
  • How was epigenetic information transmitted to us from our parents?
  • Can building new artificial chromosomes help us understand how natural chromosomes work?
  • How are the key enzymes protecting the integrity of our genome specifically and potently activated by potential catastrophes like DNA breaks or chromosome misattachment to the mitotic spindle?


Black and Lampson lead artificial chromosome project selected as an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award. See writeup in the PCGI newsletter

Runi’s paper using mice as a model system reports her discovery of how the maternal contribution of the histone variant, CENP-A, dictates the size of the centromere in the next animal generation

Levani leads study in Science that provides the molecular understanding to create tunable PARP inhibitors for clinical applications where PARP-1 trapping on DNA breaks is either desirable or undesirable in specific patients

Glennis and Craig develop a new type of human artificial chromosome that removes a key barrier limiting mammalian synthetic genome efforts, reported in our paper in Cell and highlighted here, here, and here

Scientific Community

We are very active in scientific interactions across several departments, programs, and schools here at UPenn, including close-knit ties to graduate programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB) and Cell and Molecular Biology (CAMB). We are also founding members of the Penn Center for Genome Integrity and multi-lab group meetings of the Philly Chromosome Club.