Gene Regulation and Inheritance
The Gene Regulation and Inheritance Program focuses on revealing basic mechanisms governing the regulation of gene expression and cell inheritance at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels, and on discovering how these mechanisms are perturbed to influence the initiation and/or progression of cancer. A major strength of the Program is the innovative science that is yielding novel insights into non-coding RNA species, RNA splicing, chromatin biology, and cell-cycle control. Alterations in these processes are critical features of the transformed phenotype. Although fundamental research is the central to this Program, many discoveries are being translated toward the clinic, due in part to the strong strategic alliance with clinical partners.
Members of the Gene Regulation and Inheritance Program share an interest in uncovering the mechanisms governing inheritance of cell state as well as mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, and on understanding how those mechanisms are altered in cancer cells. The Program has three main focus areas: (1) elucidating fundamental mechanisms governing the regulation of non-coding RNAs, transcription, and cell inheritance; (2) determining how transcriptional and post-transcriptional control are dysregulated in cancer; and (3) developing therapeutic agents and biological systems to target pro-tumorigenic alterations in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators. The Program also has expertise in computational analysis of gene expression patterns, mRNA splicing, and mutation identification which is being used to uncover alterations that drive aberrant gene regulation and impact all three focus areas. Program members combine cell, molecular biology, biochemical, structural biology, computational, and genetic approaches. The Program is enhanced by the excellent Cancer Center Shared Resources, especially the Animal, Sequencing Technologies & Analysis, Flow Cytometry, Microscopy, and Mass Spectrometry Shared Resources.
Can you outsmart this AI quiz?
February 6, 2023
Think you’re plugged into the latest artificial intelligence advancements? Test your tech knowledge with this quiz on AI and computational biology.
PFF student named Regeneron scholar
January 30, 2023
CSHL Partners for the Future student Sean Krivitsky is a semifinalist in one the nation's most prestigious high school science competitions.
Cracking the mystery behind a deadly brain cancer
December 21, 2022
Scientists solve the mystery of how glioblastoma turns off cancer defenses without the usual cancer-inducing mutations.
CSHL breaks ground on new Neuroscience Research Complex
December 20, 2022
New York Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado announced a $30 million investment to help fund the new construction project.
The tiny plant tackling climate change
December 8, 2022
The humble aquatic duckweed plant has enormous potential as a new source of healthy protein, low-carbon biofuels, and other bioproducts.
Finding the right AI for you
December 5, 2022
AI’s popularity has reached a point where there are too many options. How do you know which AI is right for you? CSHL scientists have a solution.
Cancer lab makes surprise discoveries in heart disease
November 30, 2022
Two separate studies from the Spector lab at CSHL suggest that certain genes can lead to cardiac problems.
Welcome to Biology + Beyond
November 14, 2022
CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman introduces a special issue of Nautilus magazine now online, featuring the Lab’s latest groundbreaking research
A universal cancer treatment?
October 13, 2022
A medicine that disrupts the DNA replication of cancer cells may be within reach.
CSHL high schoolers finish top 10 in 2022 DREAM Challenge
October 7, 2022
The high school team competed against universities and private labs to build a computer program for predicting gene expression in yeast.
A new treatment approach for cystic fibrosis
July 14, 2022
Molecules called antisense oligonucleotides may help lung cells make a protein missing in people with cystic fibrosis.
The promising drug duo that may improve SMA treatment
July 11, 2022
Pairing Spinraza® with a second FDA-approved drug may be a new way to improve the drug’s therapeutic effects in spinal muscular atrophy patients.
Bruce Stillman honored with Excellence in Healthcare Award
June 27, 2022
The Long Island Herald recognized CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman for his leadership and impact in the biomedical field.
Krainer awarded Watanabe Prize in Translational Research
June 16, 2022
Indiana University School of Medicine honored Krainer for his pioneering work on RNA splicing, which led to the first FDA-approved SMA therapeutic.
Decoding how a protein on the move keeps cells healthy
May 31, 2022
The Argonaute protein is a workhorse for cell regulation and CSHL researchers discovered what helps it commute from job to job.
President’s essay: Foundations for the future
May 25, 2022
Strategically designed to spark scientific exchange and inspiration, CSHL is a unique research and education environment for advancing science.
CSHL Helix Society member honors late wife
May 24, 2022
Helix Society member John Broven recently visited CSHL to view a newly installed plaque placed in memory of his late wife.
CSHL 19th graduating class celebrated
May 2, 2022
In May 2022, the CSHL School of Biological Sciences awarded 10 Doctor of Philosophy degrees and two honorary degrees.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 2022 Ph.D.’s
May 1, 2022
The School of Biological Sciences awarded Ph.D. degrees to ten students this year. Here are some stories and memories from their time at CSHL.
Martienssen elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
April 28, 2022
CSHL Professor and HHMI Investigator Rob Martienssen joins the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
CSHL in pursuit of shape-shifting antibiotics
April 25, 2022
CSHL Professor John E. Moses was awarded over $325,000 from the New York State Biodefense Commercialization Fund to study a new type of antibiotic.
Can cancer be treated by changing its cells?
April 11, 2022
Tumors grow when cells lose their biological identity. A promising therapeutic might restore their sense of self.
Do you have the dirt on plant research?
March 31, 2022
New research is constantly sprouting. Take this quiz and test your plant knowledge.
Paving a path to triple-negative breast cancer treatment
March 29, 2022
Researchers collected a biobank of triple-negative breast cancer mini-tissues to search for new and potentially patient-specific treatments.
Regeneron competition honors CSHL high school researchers
March 22, 2022
Three high school student researchers at CSHL were among Regeneron Science Talent Search’s top 300 scholars. One made it to the final competition.
Stabilizing chromosomes to tackle tumors
March 17, 2022
Dicer and its partner BRD4 stabilize chromosomes. Targeting this pair could provide new therapeutic opportunities against cancer.
Tools of the trade at CSHL: Robotic microwave
February 24, 2022
This robotic assistant gives chemists a hand in the lab.
Cutting off liver cancer’s nutrient supply chain
February 3, 2022
CSHL researchers developed a way to interfere with the energy pathway that allows liver cancer to grow and spread.
Editing RNA to fix protein problems in cystic fibrosis
January 27, 2022
CSHL researchers found a new way to address a previously untreatable class of mutations in the cystic fibrosis gene.
The Darlene Carbone Brain Tumor Foundation donates $25,000 to CSHL
January 24, 2022
The Darlene Carbone Brain Tumor Foundation donates $25,000 to Dr. Alea Mills lab for glioblastoma research.
Lab meets clinic: Building on foundational research
December 15, 2021
The future depends on investments in scientific advancement, including expanding the Laboratory’s research visions and shoring up its infrastructure.
Teaching an old chemical new tricks
December 6, 2021
Using a chemical from the 1980s, CSHL Professor John E. Moses’ team has found a way to create new molecules in minutes.
In the Field: A Barbara McClintock–inspired novel
December 2, 2021
1983 Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock continues to inspire many today. In 2021, author Rachel Pastan published a novel based on her life and legacy.
Breaking the chain that culminates in cancer
December 1, 2021
CSHL scientists have discovered a way to shut down a cancer-causing protein by inhibiting a cascade of proteins that activate it.
Creating a community for hope
November 30, 2021
CSHL researchers began studying sarcoma in 2014, thanks in part to the encouragement and investments of three local foundations.
November 5, 2021
“Click chemistry” is a way to design fast, specific, and clean reactions that make molecules click together like LEGO® bricks.
The “click” in click chemistry
November 4, 2021
Watch as CSHL Professor John E. Moses and Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless show click chemistry in action.
Tools of the trade at CSHL: NMR
October 29, 2021
Nuclear magnetic resonance—or NMR—uses magnetically generated radio waves to analyze chemical structures.
Masthead Cove Yacht Club supports CSHL research
October 20, 2021
The Masthead Cove Yacht Club raised $4,500 for CSHL research at their annual boat race.
Celebrating a new DNA Learning Center in Brooklyn
October 15, 2021
CSHL and CUNY opened a new DNA Learning Center in Brooklyn, NY. CSHL President & CEO Bruce Stillman explained the importance of genetics education.
The rise of RNA therapeutics
October 14, 2021
RNA has been making waves as a new approach to prevent or treat diseases, including COVID-19 and spinal muscular atrophy.
F.M. Kirby Foundation donates $115K for chemistry research
October 12, 2021
The F.M. Kirby Foundation donated $115,000 to support CSHL Professor John E. Moses’ chemistry research.
Building on 150 years of neuroanatomy
October 7, 2021
Learn more about how researchers reached a milestone in a years-long effort to catalog the cells of the human, mouse, and monkey brains.
Think a census of humans is hard? Try counting their brain cells!
October 6, 2021
CSHL researchers and other collaborators reached a milestone in a years-long effort to catalog the cells of the human, mouse, and monkey brains.
CSHL researcher wins NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
October 5, 2021
CSHL Adjunct Professor Z. Josh Huang was recognized for new cell engineering tools that will have broad applications in biological research.
Calculating the path of cancer
October 4, 2021
A new mathematical approach is helping cancer researchers at CSHL determine how mutations lead to different behaviors in cancerous cells.
Flagship DNA Learning Center NYC opens for all New Yorkers
September 24, 2021
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the City University of New York announce the opening of the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech.
2021 Women’s Partnership luncheon raises $250,000
September 23, 2021
The twentieth annual Women’s Partnership for Science lecture and luncheon was held to support, promote, and celebrate women researchers at CSHL.
Krainer wins Pew grant to study fetal alcohol syndrome
September 15, 2021
CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer will study RNA splicing errors that occur in people with the disease and look for treatment targets.
CSHL President & CEO Bruce Stillman wins Advance Global Impact Award
September 8, 2021
CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman received the prestigious 2021 Australian Advance Global Impact Award.
CSHL Ph.D. program: Graduating class of 2021
August 22, 2021
The CSHL School of Biological Sciences awarded Ph.D. degrees to seven students this year, who describe some of their experiences.
Polymers “click” together using green chemistry
August 16, 2021
To build a new polymer using a type of green chemistry called “click chemistry,” chemists first had to tame a dangerous gas.
CSHL science tools at work: Rotovap
August 11, 2021
In the laboratory of John E. Moses, the rotating evaporator (rotovap) helps chemists purify the molecules they make.
CSHL serves up its 30th season of volleyball
August 3, 2021
People have been playing volleyball at CSHL for decades. The league returned for its 30th season in the summer of 2021.
URP: Summer camp for undergrads
July 29, 2021
The Undergraduate Research Program brings college students from around the world to CSHL for a summer of research and fun.
Using “guilt by association” to classify cells
July 14, 2021
Using a new computational statistics tool, CSHL researchers classify cells to understand how an organism functions.
Krainer wins Gabbay Award for SMA research
June 28, 2021
CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer won the Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine for his work on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Solving genetic disease puzzles with quantitative biology
June 17, 2021
CSHL quantitative biologist Jesse Gillis teams up with an immunology specialist at Northwell Health to analyze a complex genetic disorder.
Envisagenics and Biogen partner for RNA splicing research
June 9, 2021
CSHL spin-out company Envisagenics teams up with Biogen to advance research in RNA-based therapeutics for central nervous system diseases.
June 8, 2021
Innovative research and educational activities never stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CSHL professor wins Horizon Prize in chemistry
June 7, 2021
CSHL Professor John E. Moses has been awarded the 2021 Horizon Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Adenovirus: After 40 years, a call to arms
May 21, 2021
Virus research done 40 years ago at CSHL provided an early foundation for today’s adenovirus-based treatments and vaccines.
How plants leave behind their parents’ genomic baggage
May 20, 2021
A baby plant resets its genome, erasing the changes that its parents accumulated. CSHL scientists found how the plant adds back a few necessary ones.
Daniela Conte Foundation donates $30K for sarcoma research
May 20, 2021
The Daniela Conte Foundation donated $30,000 to support CSHL Professor Chris Vakoc’s lab’s sarcoma research.
Making AI algorithms show their work
May 13, 2021
AI machines are often better than humans at discerning patterns. CSHL researchers developed a way to find out why.
DNA replication: A game of precision
April 25, 2021
A highly choreographed complex of molecules is vital to starting and synchronizing DNA replication during cell division.
CSHL alumna donates her Nobel-Prize winning lab notebooks
April 13, 2021
A new CSHL digital archive chronicles the Nobel Prize-winning work of Carol Greider.
LIVE At the Lab: Adenovirus – A look back at early CSHL research
April 9, 2021
President and CEO Bruce Stillman and Dean of Academic Affairs Terri Grodzicker discuss their adenovirus research in the 1980s.
How to tame a restless genome
April 8, 2021
CSHL researchers found a mechanism to keep otherwise mobile genetic elements in place in the genome.
How human cells coordinate the start of DNA replication
March 23, 2021
Researchers discover how human cells regulate DNA replication, an important part of cell division, in time and space.
Krainer wins 2021 Wolf Prize in Medicine
February 17, 2021
CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer was awarded the 2021 Wolf Prize in Medicine for his work on RNA splicing.
AI researchers ask: What’s going on inside the black box?
February 8, 2021
Although researchers have figured out how to train computers to recognize things, they have yet to understand how machines make those predictions.
How to bury carbon? Let plants do the dirty work.
February 5, 2021
Carbon sequestration could slow or reverse human emissions—and nothing is better at sequestration than a green plant.
CSHL Association holds its annual meeting
January 29, 2021
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Association welcomes four new directors and thanks three retiring ones.
Building a corn cob—cell by cell, gene by gene
January 26, 2021
CSHL scientists are piecing together the genes that control how corn develops.
How roundworms decide the time is right
December 22, 2020
Roundworm embryos calibrate the speed of their development to environmental conditions. A similar system may go wrong in some cancers.
Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis
December 22, 2020
A gene-regulating bit of RNA promotes breast cancer metastasis. Agents that destroy that RNA provide hope for a new drug.
Patricia Churchland: Social Conscience
November 24, 2020
Patricia Churchland, founder of the field of neurophilosophy, discusses research on the origins of human morality and social bonding.
LIVE At the Lab with Patricia Churchland: Social Conscience
November 24, 2020
Scientist and philosopher Patricia Churchland discusses the evolutionary basis of morality and social bonding in humans.
Joshua-Tor wins Biophysical Society honor
November 16, 2020
CSHL Professor and HHMI Investigator Leemor Joshua-Tor was named a 2021 Fellow of the Biophysical Society for her work on RNAi and DNA replication.
Mary Ruchalski Foundation donates $60k for RMS research
November 13, 2020
The Mary Ruchalski Foundation donated $60,000 to CSHL Professor Chris Vakoc and his team for ongoing rhabdomyosarcoma research.
One experiment: Organoids as living laboratories
October 30, 2020
These tiny balls of cells are revolutionizing the research and treatment of pancreas and other types of cancers.
DNA Learning Center Nigeria opens to local students
October 16, 2020
A small university in Nigeria hosts Africa’s first DNA Learning Center and plans to serve hundreds of students with hands-on genetics instruction.
Combining chemistry and biology at CSHL
October 1, 2020
Professor John Moses joins the CSHL faculty, specializing in the field of click chemistry.
The “ORC” twists, pinches, and dances around DNA
September 16, 2020
The Origin Recognition Complex (ORC) is a key piece of cellular machinery, fundamental to life, yet so far mysterious.
Replicating a genome starts with a twist, a pinch, and a bit of a dance
September 16, 2020
Researchers have their first high resolution look at how “ORC,” a human protein complex essential to life, moves.
Martienssen named 2020 Royal Society winner
August 3, 2020
Professor and HHMI Investigator Rob Martienssen wins a 2020 Royal Society medal for his RNAi research.
How two CSHL programs adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic
July 16, 2020
Mikala Egeblad and David Micklos presented their work at the “Life Science Across the Globe” seminar series.
CSHL tops Bush Center’s Innovation Impact Productivity Score
July 13, 2020
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ranks #1 in Innovation Impact Productivity Score among Pure Research/Health Care Institutions by the Bush Center.
Krainer wins 2020 NYAS Innovators prize for SMA research
July 8, 2020
Professor Adrian Krainer is the 2020 Senior Scientist Winner of the Innovators in Science Award for his work on SPINRAZA®.
The world destroyer in your shampoo and ice cream
July 6, 2020
Palm oil is an environmental scourge. Genetics has a solution.
Nobelist Sir Richard Roberts talks GMOs at CSHL
June 26, 2020
Nobelist and CSHL alum Sir Richard Roberts spoke about GMOs and the future of agriculture with Pamela Ronald and Rob Martienssen.
Nobelist Sir Richard Roberts talks GMOs at CSHL hosted event
June 25, 2020
Nobelist and CSHL alum Sir Richard Roberts spoke about GMOs and the future of agriculture with Pamela Ronald and Rob Martienssen in this video.
CSHL President Bruce Stillman wins Heineken Prize
June 2, 2020
CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman wins the Heineken Prize for his work on eukaryotic DNA replication.
Why pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is so lethal
May 19, 2020
CSHL researchers discovered factors that allow a pancreatic cell to lose its identity and turn into an aggressive cancer cell.
Coronavirus research in plants
May 15, 2020
Purified coronavirus proteins are in short supply for COVID-19 researchers, so CSHL plant scientists are jumping in to make them.
What do these scientist moms do? Ask their kids.
May 8, 2020
We asked the children of three scientists to describe their mother’s work. See what they had to say.
Adrian Krainer elected to the National Academy of Sciences
April 28, 2020
Professor Adrian Krainer was elected to the National Academy of Science as part of its 2020 election.
CSHL featured in new Ken Burns documentary, The Gene
April 6, 2020
The documentary will feature CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer, materials from the CSHL Library & Archives, and glimpses of the CSHL campus.
Barbara McClintock: Free to discover
March 23, 2020
Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock spent half her life at CSHL, enjoying the freedom to explore new ideas and ignore criticism. This is her journey.
Among the changes that occur during pregnancy, those affecting the breasts have been found to subsequently modify breast cancer risk. My laboratory investigates how the signals present during pregnancy permanently alter the way gene expression is controlled and how these changes affect normal and malignant mammary development.
As organisms develop, genes turn on and off with a precise order and timing, much like the order and duration of notes in a song. My group uses model organisms to understand the molecules that control the tempo of development. We also study how changes in the timing of gene expression contribute to diseases like cancer.
Our cells depend on thousands of proteins and nucleic acids that function as tiny machines: molecules that build, fold, cut, destroy, and transport all of the molecules essential for life. My group is discovering how these molecular machines work, looking at interactions between individual atoms to understand how they activate gene expression, DNA replication, and small RNA biology.
Research in the Kinney Lab combines mathematical theory, machine learning, and experiments in an effort to illuminate how cells control their genes. These efforts are advancing the fundamental understanding of biology and biophysics, as well as accelerating the discovery of new treatments for cancer and other diseases.
Deep learning has the potential to make a significant impact in basic biology and cancer, but a major challenge is understanding the reasons behind their predictions. My research develops methods to interpret this powerful class of black box models, with a goal of elucidating data-driven insights into the underlying mechanisms of sequence-function relationships.
Our DNA carries the instructions to manufacture all the molecules needed by a cell. After each gene is copied from DNA into RNA, the RNA message is "spliced" - an editing process involving precise cutting and pasting. I am interested in how splicing normally works, how it is altered in genetic diseases and cancer, and how we can correct these defects for therapy.
Chromosomes are covered with chemical modifications that help control gene expression. I study this secondary genetic code - the epigenome - and how it is guided by small mobile RNAs in plants and fission yeast. Our discoveries impact plant breeding and human health, and we use this and other genomic information to improve aquatic plants as a source of bioenergy.
Cells employ stringent controls to ensure that genes are turned on and off at the correct time and place. Accurate gene expression relies on several levels of regulation, including how DNA and its associated molecules are packed together. I study the diseases arising from defects in these control systems, such as aging and cancer.
My group uses click chemistry to study biological systems at the molecular level. We develop and exploit powerful bond-forming click reactions that enable the rapid synthesis of small functional molecules, including cancer drugs and chemical probes. We apply these novel molecular tools in multidisciplinary discovery projects spanning the fields of biology and chemistry.
Developing single-cell genomics technologies for applications related to cancer progression, immune surveillance, and discovery of rare novel cell types and transcriptional programs.
Transposable elements make up half of our DNA. They control gene expression and have been a major evolutionary force in all organisms. The Schorn lab investigates how small RNAs identify and silence transposable elements when they become active during development and cancer.
The immense amount of DNA, RNA and proteins that contribute to our genetic programs are precisely organized inside the cell's nucleus. My group studies how nuclear organization impacts gene regulation, and how misregulation of non-coding RNAs contributes to human diseases such as cancer.
Every time a cell divides, it must accurately copy its DNA. With 3 billion “letters” in the human genome, this is no small task. My studies reveal the many steps and molecular actors involved, as well as how errors in DNA replication are involved in diseases that range from cancer to rare genetic disorders.
The research in the Zhang laboratory centers on normal and malignant stem and progenitor cells in the hematopoietic system and decodes the role of metabolites, including micronutrients and neurotransmitters, in the tumor microenvironment and their genetic effectors in regulating hematologic malignancies. The ultimate goal is to understand how environmental signals such as diets and nervous system activities modulate development and cancers.