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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!

Meet the Director

Dr. Shelley Berger, Ph.D.

Shelley Berger has been a leader in epigenetics for over 20 years. She has published over 200 research and review articles, many in top scientific journals. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (2012), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013), the American Association for Advancement of Science (2012), and most recently the National Academy of Sciences (2018). Newspapers, magazines, and network news reports have featured her research, broadening the reach of epigenetics to the general public. Shelley’s commitment to a collaborative environment made up of both established and rising scientists in the field of epigenetics resulted in the creation of the Penn Epigenetics Institute in 2017. Her lab continues to investigate the role of epigenetics in aging, gametogenesis, viral infection, cancer, and animal behavior.

Featured Labs

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Lastest Publications

Small-molecule inhibition of the acyl-lysine reader ENL as a strategy against acute myeloid leukemia

Liling Wan, Ph.D.
Spatial / ArchitecturalLiling Wan Lab
Spatial / Architectural Liling Wan Lab

Quantitative sub-cellular acyl-CoA analysis reveals distinct nuclear metabolism and isoleucine-dependent histone propionylation.

Kathryn E. Wellen, Ph.D.
Cancer and MetabolismKathryn Wellen Lab
Cancer and Metabolism Kathryn Wellen Lab

Neuronal YY1 in the prefrontal cortex regulates transcriptional and behavioral responses to chronic stress.

Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, Ph.D.
Jennifer E. Phillips-Cremins, Ph.D.
Hao Wu, Ph.D.
Jennifer Phillips-Cremins LabZhaolan Zhou LabHao Wu Lab
Jennifer Phillips-Cremins Lab Zhaolan Zhou Lab Hao Wu Lab

Controllable genome editing with split-engineered base editors

Junwei Shi, Ph.D.
Rahul Kohli, M.D., Ph.D.
Junwei Shi LabRahul Kohli Lab
Junwei Shi Lab Rahul Kohli Lab

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