David C. Page

David C. Page

Professor of Biology; Core Member, Whitehead Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

David C. Page examines the genetic differences between males and females — and how these play out in disease, development, and evolution.





Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research


Susan Tocio



Assistant Phone


  • MD, 1984, Harvard Medical School
  • BS, 1978, Chemistry, Swarthmore College

Research Summary

We seek to understand the genetic differences between males and females — both within and beyond the reproductive tract. We study the medical ramifications of these differences in a broad context, through comparative biological, evolutionary, developmental and clinically focused analyses. Our three main veins of research relate to sex differences in health and disease, sex chromosome genomics, and germ cell origins and development.


  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2012
  • March of Dimes, Developmental Biology, 2011
  • National Academy of Medicine, Member, 2008
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2005
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI Investigator, 1990
  • MacArthur Foundation, MacArthur Fellowship, 1986

Key Publications

  1. Quantitative analysis of Y-Chromosome gene expression across 36 human tissues. Godfrey, AK, Naqvi, S, Chmátal, L, Chick, JM, Mitchell, RN, Gygi, SP, Skaletsky, H, Page, DC. 2020. Genome Res 30, 860-873.
    doi: 10.1101/gr.261248.120PMID:32461223
  2. Mammalian germ cells are determined after PGC colonization of the nascent gonad. Nicholls, PK, Schorle, H, Naqvi, S, Hu, YC, Fan, Y, Carmell, MA, Dobrinski, I, Watson, AL, Carlson, DF, Fahrenkrug, SC et al.. 2019. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116, 25677-25687.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1910733116PMID:31754036
  3. Conservation, acquisition, and functional impact of sex-biased gene expression in mammals. Naqvi, S, Godfrey, AK, Hughes, JF, Goodheart, ML, Mitchell, RN, Page, DC. 2019. Science 365, .
    doi: 10.1126/science.aaw7317PMID:31320509
  4. Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance of cancer susceptibility in mammals. Lesch, BJ, Tothova, Z, Morgan, EA, Liao, Z, Bronson, RT, Ebert, BL, Page, DC. 2019. Elife 8, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.39380PMID:30963999
  5. Mammalian Y chromosomes retain widely expressed dosage-sensitive regulators. Bellott, DW, Hughes, JF, Skaletsky, H, Brown, LG, Pyntikova, T, Cho, TJ, Koutseva, N, Zaghlul, S, Graves, T, Rock, S et al.. 2014. Nature 508, 494-9.
    doi: 10.1038/nature13206PMID:24759411

Recent Publications

  1. The human Y and inactive X chromosomes similarly modulate autosomal gene expression. San Roman, AK, Skaletsky, H, Godfrey, AK, Bokil, NV, Teitz, L, Singh, I, Blanton, LV, Bellott, DW, Pyntikova, T, Lange, J et al.. 2024. Cell Genom 4, 100462.
    doi: 10.1016/j.xgen.2023.100462PMID:38190107
  2. Post-transcriptional repression of mRNA enhances competence to transit from mitosis to meiosis in mouse spermatogenic cells. Mikedis, MM, Liu, B, de Rooij, DG, Page, DC. 2023. bioRxiv , .
    doi: 10.1101/2023.09.20.557439PMID:37781613
  3. The human Y and inactive X chromosomes similarly modulate autosomal gene expression. San Roman, AK, Skaletsky, H, Godfrey, AK, Bokil, NV, Teitz, L, Singh, I, Blanton, LV, Bellott, DW, Pyntikova, T, Lange, J et al.. 2023. bioRxiv , .
    doi: 10.1101/2023.06.05.543763PMID:37333288
  4. The human inactive X chromosome modulates expression of the active X chromosome. San Roman, AK, Godfrey, AK, Skaletsky, H, Bellott, DW, Groff, AF, Harris, HL, Blanton, LV, Hughes, JF, Brown, L, Phou, S et al.. 2023. Cell Genom 3, 100259.
    doi: 10.1016/j.xgen.2023.100259PMID:36819663
  5. SHIMS 3.0: Highly efficient single-haplotype iterative mapping and sequencing using ultra-long nanopore reads. Bellott, DW, Cho, TJ, Jackson, EK, Skaletsky, H, Hughes, JF, Page, DC. 2022. PLoS One 17, e0269692.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269692PMID:35700171
  6. A gene deriving from the ancestral sex chromosomes was lost from the X and retained on the Y chromosome in eutherian mammals. Hughes, JF, Skaletsky, H, Nicholls, PK, Drake, A, Pyntikova, T, Cho, TJ, Bellott, DW, Page, DC. 2022. BMC Biol 20, 133.
    doi: 10.1186/s12915-022-01338-8PMID:35676717
  7. GC-biased gene conversion in X-chromosome palindromes conserved in human, chimpanzee, and rhesus macaque. Jackson, EK, Bellott, DW, Skaletsky, H, Page, DC. 2021. G3 (Bethesda) 11, .
    doi: 10.1093/g3journal/jkab224PMID:34849781
  8. Large palindromes on the primate X Chromosome are preserved by natural selection. Jackson, EK, Bellott, DW, Cho, TJ, Skaletsky, H, Hughes, JF, Pyntikova, T, Page, DC. 2021. Genome Res 31, 1337-1352.
    doi: 10.1101/gr.275188.120PMID:34290043
  9. Germ cell determination and the developmental origin of germ cell tumors. Nicholls, PK, Page, DC. 2021. Development 148, .
    doi: 10.1242/dev.198150PMID:33913479
  10. Dosage-sensitive functions in embryonic development drove the survival of genes on sex-specific chromosomes in snakes, birds, and mammals. Bellott, DW, Page, DC. 2021. Genome Res 31, 198-210.
    doi: 10.1101/gr.268516.120PMID:33479023
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Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute