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!


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 Gina Pacella and Shaun Egolf!

Gina Pacella, CAMB graduate student, recently received an F31 grant from NCI for her project entitled “The role of UTX in Epidermal Homeostasis, Carcinogenesis, and Sex Mediated Risk of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” Shaun Egolf, CAMB graduate student, recently received an F99/K00 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition grant from NCI. Both trainees are members of the Capell lab. Congratulations Gina and Shaun!


September 07, 2021

Ashley Karnay (Jain lab) awarded F31 grant

Ashley Karnay (CAMB graduate student in the Jain lab) was recently awarded an F31 for her proposal entitled “Deciphering the Molecular Orchestrators of Heterochromatin-Lamina Interactions at the Nuclear Periphery.” Her…

August 09, 2021

Gina Pacella (Capell lab) awarded F31 grant

Gina Pacella, a graduate student in the Capell lab, was awarded a F31 grant from NCI for her project entitled “The role of UTX in Epidermal Homeostasis, Carcinogenesis, and Sex…

August 09, 2021

George Burslem awarded NIH R35 MIRA grant

George Burslem is the recipient of an NIH R35 MIRA grant. Congratulations George!

August 09, 2021

George Burslem awarded Leukemia Research Foundation grant

George Burslem has been awarded a 2021-2022 Leukemia Research Foundation grant. Read more here, and congratulations George!

July 07, 2021

Gregory Schwartz (Faryabi lab) to start lab at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto

Gregory Schwartz (postdoc in the Faryabi lab) will be starting his lab later this year as a faculty member at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. The lab will focus…

June 22, 2021

Colin Conine selected as Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Colin Conine has been selected as one of the 22 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences. Congratulations Colin!

June 22, 2021

Liling Wan selected as Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research

Liling Wan has been selected as one of the five Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research. Congratulations Liling!

June 22, 2021

Qinglan Li joins Wan lab

Qinglan Li has joined Liling Wan’s lab as a postdoc fellow. Welcome Qinglan!

June 22, 2021

Kaeli Mathias joins Wan lab

Kaeli Mathias (BMB graduate student) has joined Liling Wan’s lab. Welcome Kaeli!

June 22, 2021

Krista Budinich joins Wan lab

Krista Budinich (CAMB graduate student) has joined Liling Wan’s lab. Welcome Krista!

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 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.

From R. Babak Faryabi Lab

Schwartz GW, Zhou Y, Petrovic J, Pear WS, Faryabi RB. Cell Rep. 2021;36(8):109575. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109575. PMID: 34433064.

From George Burslem Lab

Green A and Burslem GM. RSC Med Chem. 2021; Accepted Manuscript. doi: 10.1039/D1MD00193K

From Shelley Berger Lab
From Eric Joyce Lab
From Arjun Raj Lab

Alexander KA, Coté A, Nguyen SC, Zhang L, Gholamalamdari O, Agudelo-Garcia P, Lin-Shiao E, Tanim KMA, Lim J, Biddle N, Dunagin MC, Good CR, Mendoza MR, Little SC, Belmont A, Joyce EF, Raj A, Berger SL. Mol Cell. 2021 Apr 15;81(8):1666-1681.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.03.006. Epub 2021 Apr 5. PMID: 33823140


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