Welcome to the Penn Epigenetics Institute


Nuclear structure in fly development

Maya Capelson’s Lab

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Penn Study Shows How Female Immune Cells Keep Their Second X Chromosome Shut Off

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Penn Epigenetics Institute

The goal of the UPenn Epigenetics Institute 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, commonly known as epigenomes.

While genetic approaches to altering cell and tissue function involve direct perturbation of the genome, epigenetic approaches involve the use of small molecules to modulate enzymes and chromatin binding proteins and thus provides a novel approach for developing therapies and diagnostics to improve human health.

The Epigenetics Institute encourages collaborations between basic and clinical research in epigenetics. Common diseases, such as cancer and metabolic syndromes, as well as brain and memory function, are established and disrupted by these pathways.

The Epigenetics Institute offers monthly research meetings, sponsors seminars, organizes annual symposia and retreats, recruits and mentors faculty, galvanizes large group projects leading to new research grant opportunities, establishes technology cores, among other long-term projects. The Epigenetics Institute currently encompasses a Core Group of 16 faculty members, and participation of more than 50 laboratories from the Philadelphia area, including Penn, CHOP, Wistar, Jefferson, Fox Chase, Drexel and Temple.

What is Epigenetics?

Watch one of the world’s most distinguished Epigeneticists, Dr. Shelley Berger, explain what Epigenetics is and how it is revolutionizing our understanding of genetic information.


January 05, 2018


Penn Study on Super-silenced DNA Hints at New Ways to Reprogram Cells Learn More

December 08, 2017


Awarded a Pilot and Feasibility Grant from the NIH P30-funded Penn Skin Biology and Disease…

October 20, 2017


Mia Levine awarded the NIGMS Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) (R35), “Causes and functional consequences…

October 20, 2017


Arjun Raj awarded a Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative Human Cell Atlas Grant, “Accelerating tools and technologies for…

October 18, 2017


Penn Study Shows How Female Immune Cells Keep Their Second X Chromosome Shut Off Learn…

October 12, 2017


Research led by Rajan Jain and Jonathan Epstein of the Perelman School of Medicine suggests…

October 10, 2017


PIK professors Michael Platt and Shelley Berger are embarking on a joint research project focused…

October 09, 2017


Hao Wu of the Perelman School of Medicine has received the New Innovator Award from…

October 05, 2017


Kavitha Sarma, Ph.D. NIH awarded the Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2) for her research on…

October 04, 2017


Cell Stress Response Sheds Light on Treating Inflammation-related Cancer, Aging Learn More

Publication Highlights

Dissecting Cell-Type Composition and Activity-Dependent Transcriptional State in Mammalian Brains by Massively Parallel Single-Nucleus RNA-Seq  Hu P, Fabyanic E, Kwon DY, Tang S, Zhou Z, Wu H.  Mol Cell. 2017 Dec 7;68(5):1006-1015.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.11.017.

Cytoplasmic chromatin triggers inflammation in senescence and cancer  Dou Z, Ghosh K, Vizioli MG, Zhu J, Sen P, Wangensteen KJ, Simithy J, Lan Y, Lin Y, Zhou Z, Capell BC, Xu C, Xu M, Kieckhaefer JE, Jiang T, Shoshkes-Carmel M, Tanim KMAA, Barber GN, Seykora JT, Millar SE, Kaestner KH, Garcia BA, Adams PD, Berger SL.  Nature. 2017 Oct 19;550(7676):402-406. doi: 10.1038/nature24050. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Mitotic transcription and waves of gene reactivation during mitotic exit  Palozola KC, Donahue G, Liu H, Grant GR, Becker JS, Cote A, Yu H, Raj A, Zaret KS.  Science. 2017 Oct 6;358(6359):119-122. doi: 10.1126/science.aal4671. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

The Neuropeptide Corazonin Controls Social Behavior and Caste Identity in Ants  Gospocic J, Shields EJ, Glastad KM, Lin Y, Penick CA, Yan H, Mikheyev AS, Linksvayer TA, Garcia BA, Berger SL, Liebig J, Reinberg D, Bonasio R.  Cell. 2017 Aug 10;170(4):748-759.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.07.014

Histone Deacetylase 3 prepares brown adipose tissue for acute thermogenic challenge  Emmett MJ, Lim HW, Jager J, Richter HJ, Adlanmerini M, Peed LC, Briggs ER, Steger DJ, Ma T, Sims CA, Baur JA, Pei L, Won KJ, Seale P, Gerhart-Hines Z, Lazar MA.  Nature. 2017 Jun 22;546(7659):544-548. doi: 10.1038/nature22819. Epub 2017 Jun 14.