Current lab members
Jeannie T Lee, MD PhD
Is a Professor of Genetics (and Pathology) at Harvard Medical School, the Blavatnik Institute, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lee specializes in the study of epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNAs and uses X-chromosome inactivation as a model system. Growing knowledge of X-inactivation mechanisms and RNA biology is currently being translated to treat various human diseases, including Rett, Fragile X, and CDKL5 Syndromes. As a champion of translational science, she played a major role in the founding of Translate Bio and Fulcrum Therapeutics with technology and know-how from the lab. She is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the 2016 recipient of the Lurie Prize from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, a 2016 awardee of the Centennial Prize from the Genetics Society of America, the 2010 recipient of the Molecular Biology Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Lee was also named a Distinguished Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2013 and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 2013-2018, she co-launched the Epigenetics Initiative at Harvard Medical School and served as its Co-Director. Serving on the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society of America (GSA), Dr. Lee spearheaded the TAGC (The All-Genetics) Conference in 2016. As GSA's President, Dr. Lee established a Strategic Plan and a Development strategy for the society in 2018. She received her A.B. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and obtained M.D.-Ph.D degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Lee then carried out postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute & MIT and became Chief Resident of Clinical Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital prior to joining the Faculty at Harvard Medical School. As a new investigator, she received the Basil O’Connor Scholar Award from the March of Dimes and the Pew Scholars Award.
Research Fellows & associates
Rodrigo Aguilar, PhD
I received my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the Universidad de Concepcion and my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Universidad Andres Bello, both in Chile. My doctoral thesis under supervision of Dr. Martin Montecino was focused in epigenetic control of gene expression using differentiating stem cells and neuronal cells. Since I was especially attracted to understand gene repression, I joined to Dr. Lee’s Lab to study long non-coding RNAs in the context of X chromosome inactivation.
Bojan Bujisic, PhD
I received my PhD degree in the Laboratory of Dr. Fabio Martinon at University of Lausanne, Switzerland. During my PhD I investigated the stress-response mechanisms that are engaged upon accumulation of misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum. My strong interest in understanding how the cells cope with perturbations in homeostasis motivated me to join the Lee Lab where I will be investigating the role of non-coding RNAs in cellular adaptation to stress.
Lu Han, PhD
I received my PhD degree in Biochemistry from University of Rochester, where I studied the biology of tRNA anticodon stem loop modifications in Saccharomyces cerevisiae under the guidance of Dr. Eric Phizicky. With my long-standing interest in noncoding RNA biology and biochemistry, I joined the Lee lab as a postdoctoral fellow to study the role of noncoding RNA from repetitive elements during cellular stress.
Teddy Jegu, PhD
I received my PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Paris-Sud in France where I studied the role of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes during plant cell cycle and development. I joined Dr. Lee's lab as a postdoctoral fellow where I am interested in studying the role of long noncoding RNAs in 3D organization of mammalian chromosomes.
Yesu Jeon, PhD
I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Seoul National University in Korea, where I spent most of my time working on DNA replication and cell cycle regulation until I joined the Lee Lab. I am currently interested in chromosome dynamics during and after X-chromosome inactivation (XCI).
Hungoo Lee, PhD
I received my Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University. During my Ph.D. I studied the epigenetic regulatory roles of Polycomb/Trithorax group proteins in Drosophila under the guidance of Dr. Vincenzo Pirrotta. I joined the Lee Lab as a postdoc to explore the potential functions of non-coding RNAs in diverse epigenetic processes by interacting various chromatin modifiers.
YongWoo Lee, PhD
I received my Ph.D. in Dr. WooTeak Kim’s lab at Yonsei University, where I studied telomere biology in plants. After the Ph.D. training, I had spent a few years in Dr. Claus Azzalin’s lab as a junior post-doc to investigate the roles of telomeric long non-coding RNA TERRA in safeguarding telomere integrity. As an extension of my continuous interest on TERRA, recent findings on TERRA transcribed from the pseudoautosomal subtelomeric regions (PAR-TERRA) leads me to Lee lab to explore fascinating possibilities of long non-coding RNA mediated long-range genomic interactions.
Hyun Jung Oh, PhD
I completed my Ph.D. at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), where I studied the mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis with specific focus on the function of cancer-associated genes in the regulation of the cell cycle. Having studied the mechanisms of how these genes are normally regulated and how their deregulation leads to human diseases, I became interested in epigenetic regulation of gene expression and thus, I joined the Lee lab to study the function of ncRNAs in epigenetic regulation of X-chromosome inactivation. I am particularly interested in identifying new ncRNAs involved in X-chromosome inactivation.
Michael Rosenberg, PhD
I received my B.Sc. degree in biology and physics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Then, I joined the laboratory of Prof. Shoshana Ravid at the Hebrew University, for my Ph.D studies in the field of biochemistry and cell biology. My research focused on the mechanisms controlling filament assembly and cellular localization of myosin II motor protein in non-muscle cells. After completing my Ph.D studies, I decided to make a sharp move to the field of epigenetics by joining the young lab of Dr. Asaf Hellman at Hebrew University, where I spent two years studying the role of DNA methylation in creating inter-individual phenotypic differences. My current research in Dr. Lee’s lab is dedicated to exploring the interactions between long non-coding RNAs and chromatin modifiers.
Hongjae Sunwoo, PhD
During my PhD study with Dr. David Spector at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, I became fascinated by long non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) and characterized Men epsilon/beta as structural elements of nuclear paraspeckles. For postdoctoral work, I am turning my attention to two of the most famous ncRNAs, Xist and Tsix of the X-inactivation pathway. Here in the Lee lab, I will study how these and other long ncRNAs are involved in epigenetic regulation.
Attila Szanto, PhD
I received my MD and PhD from the University of Debrecen, Hungary. After spending a few years on studying a transcription factor, PPARg in macrophages and dendritic cells and its function in lipid metabolism and innate immunity I became interested in basic gene expression regulation and non-coding RNAs. Therefore I joined the Lee Lab and my current research is focused on non-coding RNA-driven epigenetic regulation in differentiating embryonic stem cells.
Yuka Takeichi, PhD
I received my PhD in Veterinary Medicine at Hokkaido University in Japan, where I studied meiotic recombination and pairing in mice. Since then I have been interested in mouse disease models and translational research. I joined the lab to work on treatments for X-linked neurodevelopmental disorders like RETT syndrome and CDKL5.
Danni Wang, PhD
I received my PhD degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from New York University, where I studied the transcriptional position effects of ribosomal DNA array in S.cerevisiae under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Hochwagen. With my continued interested in epigenetics and chromatin biology, I joined the Lee Lab as a postdoc to study the molecular mechanisms of X chromosome inactivation.
Chunyao Wei, PhD
I completed my undergraduate studies at University of Science and Technology of China, and earned my PhD under the guidance of Dr. James Patton at Vanderbilt University, where I studied the expression and functions of microRNAs during early zebrafish embryonic development. With a continued strong interest in noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), I joined Dr. Lee's lab as a postdoctoral fellow to study potential roles of small ncRNAs in X-chromosome inactivation and their interactions with long ncRNAs.
Uri Weissbein, PhD
I received my PhD in Genetics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I study the genetic and epigenetic instability of human pluripotent stem cells, and the effect of this instability on cells growth and tumorigenicity, under the guidance of Prof. Nissim Benvenisty. At my postdoc at the Lee Lab, I plan to study the importance of noncoding RNA in epigenetic regulation of gene expression and chromatin architecture, focusing mainly on transcripts from the repetitive elements.
I received my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University, where I worked in the lab of Dr. Joan Steitz. I am currently a graduate student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University, and am primarily interested in novel roles/mechanisms of eukaryotic non-coding RNAs. In the Lee lab, I am investigating mono-allelic gene expression and spreading of epigenetic silencing along the X chromosome during X inactivation.
I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA, where I worked on generating iPS-derived muscle progenitor cells in the lab of Dr. April Pyle. As a graduate student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard, my research focus is on small molecule reactivation of the inactive X chromosome.
I received my B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I researched the regulation of divergent transcription in Professor Phillip Sharp’s lab. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University. I am interested in studying how three dimensional chromatin structure impacts X chromosome inactivation and other cellular processes.
I received my M.S. degree in Biochemistry from University of Chile, where I worked with Dr. Alejandra Loyola studying the protein complexes that process newly synthesized histones H3 and H4. Then I started a PhD program in Cellular and Molecular Biology in Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where I work with Dr. María Estela Andrés focusing in the chromatin binding properties of CoREST complexes. This year I was awarded with the Hermann Niemeyer 2018 prize by the Chilean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Now I am performing an internship at Dr. Lee’s Lab focusing my work in mechanisms that spread noncoding RNAs.
I'm a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard. I was an undergraduate at Brandeis, where I worked on RNA metabolism pathways under Dr. Melissa J. Moore. In the Lee Lab, my goal is to understand the mechanics of epigenetics through the lens of X-chromosome inactivation.
Chen Yu Wang
I received my MD from National Taiwan University. After completing my military service as a medical officer in Taiwan's Air Force, I start my graduate study in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard. My current research interest is in the role of long noncoding RNAs in epigenetic regulation.
Roy Blum, PhD
I graduated with honors from the Neurobiology department at the Tel Aviv University, Israel, where I studied with Prof. Yoel Kloog the anti-cancer therapeutical potential of Ras inhibitors. For my first postdoctoral position I joined the laboratory of Prof. Elaine Wilson at NYU School of Medicine, and characterized the transcriptome of fetal and adult prostate stem cells in their physiological niche. My second postdoctoral position was at the group of Prof. Brian Dynlacht at the NYU Cancer Center, where my research focused on investigation of genome-wide remodeling of epigenetic landscape during myogenic differentiation. I then joined as a senior research scientist to work in the laboratory of head of NYU cancer center, Prof. William Carroll. My studies explored epigenetic mechanisms leading to relapse of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At Jeannie Lee's lab I serve as a bioinformatician and apply my background in big data analysis to a variety of genome-wide studies conducted by the lab members.
Barry Kesner, PhD
I graduated from the Cell and Developmental Biology graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and more recently completed a post-doc in the Gene Therapy Center at the same university. My specialty is protein functional characterization using structural dynamics and phylogeny. I am currently analyzing NGS and Gene Chip data as a bioinformatician.
I graduated with a B.A. in Communications from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I joined The Department of Molecular Biology in 2014 and the Lee Lab in 2018. Currently, I am the Program Coordinator for the Department, including HR and Administrative Duties as well as Lab Admin for The Lee Lab. I am excited to be joining the Lee Lab and look forward to getting to know everyone! In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, especially my rose bushes, baking and traveling with my husband.
I have a B.Sc in Plant Science and Agriculture from The University of Nottingham School of Biosciences and an M.Sc. in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School, Falmouth MA. My research career includes the Developmental Biology Lab headed by Jerome Gross at MGH, The Epithelial Biology Lab headed by Carolyn C. Compton at MGH, Collagenesis Inc. a tissue engineering company based in Beverly, MA, The Harvard Gene Therapy Initiative directed by Richard Mulligan at HMS, The Alzheimer's Research Lab at MGH headed by Brad Hyman and BioView an automated FISH microscopy company based in Rehovot Israel. I will apply my diverse background to the efficient management of the lab's transgenic mice and other projects. I enjoy photography, biking, cooking and walking with Sebastian the family dog.