Welcome to the Penn Epigenetics Institute


Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Colin Conine Lab
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February 2020 Immunity Cover

Golnaz Vahedi Lab
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Get to Know the Conine Lab

Conine Lab

The Conine lab studies RNA in sperm and its role in epigenetic inheritance. Get to know them here!



How the 3D organization of DNA controls cell identity

Jain Lab

The Jain lab is interested in stem cell biology, heart development, and genome organization. They have a passion for explaining science to the general public – check out their latest video!



2021 Penn Epigenetics Institute Annual Retreat

Our annual retreat took place November 8th at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies!


Welcome from the Director

An epigenetic trait is defined as a stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence. At the Penn Epigenetics Institute, our group of talented faculty, trainees, and staff investigate all aspects of epigenetics – from its role in cancer, development, and immunity to how it affects social structures and the way our brains function. Our goal is to advance basic and applied research in chromatin biology and epigenetics, building on current interest both in mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation and in unraveling genome-wide chromatin patterns.

The Institute was established in 2017 to bring together the epigenetics community at Penn, providing a space where scientific endeavors could flourish. With over 38 core labs, the Institute has created an unparalleled environment for collaboration and cutting-edge research, which is often published in top-tier journals. Faculty regularly collaborate with clinical investigators to conduct translational research that advances medical breakthroughs. Our reach goes beyond the Penn community, with participation from labs at CHOP, Wistar, Jefferson, Fox Chase, Drexel, and Temple. We engage with nationally and internationally renowned scientists at our monthly seminars and annual symposia. We continue to build the Institute by recruiting new faculty, engaging in large group projects that lead to new research grant opportunities, and establishing state-of-the-art technology cores.

To learn more about the Penn Epigenetics Institute, explore our website!

Congratulations to Yogesh Goyal!

Yogesh Goyal, PhD (postdoc in the Raj lab) will be starting as an assistant professor at Northwestern in the spring. He is currently looking for postdocs and techs for the lab – feel free to take a look at his website or email him directly to learn more. Congratulations and best of luck, Yogesh!


October 27, 2021

Golnaz Vahedi recepient of Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award

Golnaz Vahedi was recently awarded the Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award as part of the 2021 Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence. Read more about the award here. Congratulations…

October 20, 2021

Gianna Busch joins Raj lab

Gianna Busch has joined Arjun Raj’s lab as a Bioengineering graduate student. Welcome Gianna!

October 20, 2021

Connie Jiang (Raj lab) successfully defends thesis

Connie Jiang, a CAMB MD/PhD graduate student, successfully defended her dissertation. Congratulations Connie!

October 19, 2021

Ben Black receives NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award

Ben Black was recently awarded an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award for his work titled Mendelian inheritance of artificial chromosomes. The award is co-sponsored with Mike Lampson from Penn Biology….

October 14, 2021

Hao Wu to Serve as Principal Investigator for NIH’s Impact of Genomic Variation on Function (IGVF) Project

The NIH has selected Penn Medicine as one of 25 award recipients across 30 sites in the United States to serve as Impact of Genomic Variation on Function (IGVF) investigators,…

October 06, 2021

Liling Wan receives NIH DP2 New Innovator Award

Liling Wan was recently awarded an NIH DP2 New Innovator Award for her work titled Illuminating Transcriptional Condensates Using an Integrated Approach. You can learn more here. Congratulations Liling!

October 06, 2021

Erica Korb receives NIH DP2 New Innovator Award

Erica Korb was recently awarded an NIH DP2 New Innovator Award for her work titled The Epigenetic Encoding of Learning and Memory. You can learn more here. Congratulations Erica!

October 05, 2021

Jennifer Phillips-Cremins receives NIH Director’s Pioneer Award

Jennifer Phillips-Cremins was recently awarded an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for her work titled From 3D Genomes to Neural Connectomes: Higher-Order Chromatin Mechanisms Encoding Long-Term Memory. You can read more…

September 27, 2021

Phillip Wulfridge (Sarma lab) awarded NSRA F32 Fellowship

Phillip Wulfridge (post doc in the Sarma lab, grant co-mentored by M. Bartolomei) was recently awarded an NRSA F32 fellowship to study epigenetic mechanisms of ATRX in genome regulation. Congratulations…

September 15, 2021

Emily Pickup joins Phillips-Cremins lab

Emily Pickup has joined Jennifer Phillips-Cremins’s lab as a Neuroscience graduate student. Welcome Emily!

Featured Labs

Conine Lab

The Conine lab studies RNA in sperm and its role in epigenetic inheritance. Get to know them here!

Anguera Lab

The Anguera lab studies X-inactivation and its role in immunity. Get to know them here!

Black Lab

The Black lab studies the most pressing questions in chromosome biology. Get to know them here!

Publication Highlights

From Shelley Berger Lab
From Roberto Bonasio Lab

Gospocic J, Glastad KM, Sheng L, Shields EJ, Berger SL, Bonasio R. Cell. 2021 Oct 28:S0092-8674(21)01180-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.10.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34739833.

From Rahul Kohli Lab
From Junwei Shi Lab

Berríos KN, Evitt NH, DeWeerd RA, Ren D, Luo M, Barka A, Wang T, Bartman CR, Lan Y, Green AM, Shi J, Kohli RM. Controllable genome editing with split-engineered base editors. Nat Chem Biol. 2021 Oct 18. doi: 10.1038/s41589-021-00880-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34663942.

From Gerd Blobel Lab
From Rajan Jain Lab
From Eric Joyce Lab
From Golnaz Vahedi Lab

Linares-Saldana R, Kim W, Bolar NA, Zhang H, Koch-Bojalad BA, Yoon S, Shah PP, Karnay A, Park DS, Luppino JM, Nguyen SC, Padmanabhan A, Smith CL, Poleshko A, Wang Q, Li L, Srivastava D, Vahedi G, Eom GH, Blobel GA, Joyce EF, Jain R. BRD4 orchestrates genome folding to promote neural crest differentiation. Nat Genet. 2021 Oct;53(10):1480-1492. doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00934-8. Epub 2021 Oct 5. PMID: 34611363.

From Gerd Blobel Lab

Blobel GA, Higgs DR, Mitchell JA, Notani D, Young RA. Testing the super-enhancer concept. Nat Rev Genet. 2021 Sep 3. doi: 10.1038/s41576-021-00398-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34480110.

From Gerd Blobel Lab

Zhang H, Lam J, Zhang D, Lan Y, Vermunt MW, Keller CA, Giardine B, Hardison RC, Blobel GA. Nat Commun. 2021;12:5157. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25418-5.


Contact the Institute

Epigenetics Institute
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
9th Floor, Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
T: 215-573-5858


Sophia Castro-Anderson

Samantha Falk
Social Media Coordinator