Establishment of Penn Epigenetics Institute

We are pleased to announce the elevation to Institute status of the Penn Epigenetics Program. Established in 2009, the program has expanded dramatically in size and impact, attracting outstanding faculty and trainees. Institute designation recognizes and will help accelerate this growth at a time of great excitement in the field.

The Penn Epigenetics Institute is directed by Shelley Berger, PhD, with Marisa Bartolomei, PhD, and Gerd Blobel, MD, PhD, serving as co-directors.

At its inception, the epigenetics program at Penn included 20 principal faculty members and their labs and has since expanded to 40 core research groups. In addition, numerous interdisciplinary interest programs have been formed around major themes of epigenetics — such as Cancer Epigenetics, Spatial and Architectural Epigenetics, and Developmental. There has been corresponding growth in publications, single- and multi- investigator grants, and in training exceptional undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and medical trainees.

The program has been exceptionally active and visible, sponsoring monthly scientific meetings and symposia and seminars that include speakers from around the world. A pilot grant program promotes exploration of questions related to epigenetics and fosters collaboration among investigators.

All of this activity has made Penn an international leader in epigenetics, a rapidly evolving field that is shaping our understanding of diverse diseases, including cancer. Numerous drugs targeting epigenetic regulators are in development in labs at Penn and around the world, and many have entered clinical trials or have been approved as standards of care.

The Penn Epigenetics Institute will also continue to play a leading role in convening scientists from around the world and disseminating important breakthroughs in the field. Since 2009 Penn has hosted eight major epigenetics symposia, attracting hundreds of attendees annually. In keeping with this tradition, this year’s program on “Neuroepigenetics” will be presented January 9, in collaboration with the Mahoney Institute of Neurosciences (MINS). More information is available at: We invite you to attend and learn more about the exciting future of epigenetics research within and outside Penn.

Penn Epigenetics Institute