Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Group

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Genetics and Gene Regulation

Program Overview

Genetics is a discipline of central importance to the biomedical sciences. Genetic changes underlie many human health problems, from single gene Mendelian disorders to complex traits such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and psychiatric disorders. Genetic changes also fuel adaptive evolution in disease-causing pathogens. The field of Genetics has been truly revolutionized in recent years by new sequencing and other technologies. Genome sequence information is an increasingly common part of medicine that impacts our daily lives. Yet we still have much to learn about gene functions and regulation before sequence information can be interpreted and used effectively to fulfill the promise of “personalized medicine”.  Members of the Genetics and Gene Regulation (GGR) program study the mechanisms by which genetic and epigenetic variation leads to cellular and organismal phenotypes.

GGR offers courses, research opportunities, seminars and other training activities in the areas of model organism genetics, human genetics, transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation, epigenetics and bioinformatics. GGR also benefits from the support of an NIH-funded Predoctoral Training Grant . Over 50 faculty are affiliated with GGR, including members of the Genetics Department and of many other basic science and clinical departments at UPenn, Children’s Hospital, the Wistar Institute and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. GGR also shares many faculty with the Genomics and Computational Biology (GCB) graduate group, and students can select coursework and dual mentors from both programs.

Explore GGR using the sidebar at left.



Program Chair:

Dr. Thomas Jongens
Genetics Room 10-134
Translational Research Center, 10th Fl
3400 Civic Center Blvd., Bldg 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104-5158
Office: 215-573-9332
Fax: 215-573-9411


Meagan Schofer
Phone: 215-898-9536

GGR Committees:

Thomas Jongens
Douglas Epstein
Meera Sundaram

First Year Advising
Thomas Jongens
Douglas Epstein
Kristen Lynch
David Raizen
Kenneth Zaret

Second Year Advising
Thomas Jongens
Ted Abel
Amita Sehgal


Christopher Brown
John Murray
Zhaolan Zhou

Benjamin Voight
Meera Sundaram

Meera Sundaram
Arjun Raj

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Arjun Raj)