Harvey F. Lodish

Harvey F. Lodish

Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, MIT; Founding Member, Whitehead Institute

Harvey F. Lodish studies the development of red blood cells and the use of modified red cells for the introduction of novel therapeutics into the human body, as well as the development of brown and white fat cells.





Mary Ann Donovan



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 1966, Rockefeller University
  • BS, 1962, Chemistry and Mathematics, Kenyon College

Research Summary

We identify novel genes involved in the terminal stages of erythropoiesis, the process by which red blood cells are produced, and elucidate functions of the genes and extracellular signals that regulate the self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of early (BFU-E) erythroid progenitor cells. We’ve characterized several molecules, including two that are FDA-approved drugs for other indications and show great promise as therapeutics for bone marrow failure disorders and erythropoietin-resistant anemias. We discover and elucidate the functions of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are essential for the differentiation and function of erythroid and myeloid cells, and others essential for formation of white and brown adipose cells.


  • Donald Metcalf Award, 2020
  • American Society for Cell Biology WICB Sandra K. Masur Senior Leadership Award, 2017
  • Pioneer Award, Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation, 2016
  • Mentor Award in Basic Science, American Society of Hematology, 2010
  • President, American Society for Cell Biology, 2004
  • Associate Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), 1996
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 1987
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 1986
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship, 1977

Key Publications

  1. Engineered erythrocytes covalently linked to antigenic peptides can protect against autoimmune disease. Pishesha, N, Bilate, AM, Wibowo, MC, Huang, NJ, Li, Z, Deshycka, R, Bousbaine, D, Li, H, Patterson, HC, Dougan, SK et al.. 2017. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 3157-3162.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1701746114PMID:28270614
  2. TGF-β inhibitors stimulate red blood cell production by enhancing self-renewal of BFU-E erythroid progenitors. Gao, X, Lee, HY, da Rocha, EL, Zhang, C, Lu, YF, Li, D, Feng, Y, Ezike, J, Elmes, RR, Barrasa, MI et al.. 2016. Blood 128, 2637-2641.
    doi: 10.1182/blood-2016-05-718320PMID:27777239
  3. PPAR-α and glucocorticoid receptor synergize to promote erythroid progenitor self-renewal. Lee, HY, Gao, X, Barrasa, MI, Li, H, Elmes, RR, Peters, LL, Lodish, HF. 2015. Nature 522, 474-7.
    doi: 10.1038/nature14326PMID:25970251
  4. De Novo Reconstruction of Adipose Tissue Transcriptomes Reveals Long Non-coding RNA Regulators of Brown Adipocyte Development. Alvarez-Dominguez, JR, Bai, Z, Xu, D, Yuan, B, Lo, KA, Yoon, MJ, Lim, YC, Knoll, M, Slavov, N, Chen, S et al.. 2015. Cell Metab 21, 764-776.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.04.003PMID:25921091
  5. Cpeb4-mediated translational regulatory circuitry controls terminal erythroid differentiation. Hu, W, Yuan, B, Lodish, HF. 2014. Dev Cell 30, 660-72.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.07.008PMID:25220394

Recent Publications

  1. Over 60 Years of Experimental Hematology (without a License). Lodish, HF. 2020. Exp Hematol 89, 1-12.
    doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2020.08.005PMID:32798645
  2. Phosphocholine accumulation and PHOSPHO1 depletion promote adipose tissue thermogenesis. Jiang, M, Chavarria, TE, Yuan, B, Lodish, HF, Huang, NJ. 2020. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117, 15055-15065.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1916550117PMID:32554489
  3. Rate of Progression through a Continuum of Transit-Amplifying Progenitor Cell States Regulates Blood Cell Production. Li, H, Natarajan, A, Ezike, J, Barrasa, MI, Le, Y, Feder, ZA, Yang, H, Ma, C, Markoulaki, S, Lodish, HF et al.. 2019. Dev Cell 49, 118-129.e7.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.026PMID:30827895
  4. FAM210B is an erythropoietin target and regulates erythroid heme synthesis by controlling mitochondrial iron import and ferrochelatase activity. Yien, YY, Shi, J, Chen, C, Cheung, JTM, Grillo, AS, Shrestha, R, Li, L, Zhang, X, Kafina, MD, Kingsley, PD et al.. 2018. J Biol Chem 293, 19797-19811.
    doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002742PMID:30366982
  5. SYK kinase mediates brown fat differentiation and activation. Knoll, M, Winther, S, Natarajan, A, Yang, H, Jiang, M, Thiru, P, Shahsafaei, A, Chavarria, TE, Lamming, DW, Sun, L et al.. 2017. Nat Commun 8, 2115.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02162-3PMID:29235464
  6. Fifty years of mentoring and advising. Lodish, HF. 2017. Mol Biol Cell 28, 2908-2910.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E17-07-0481PMID:29084906
  7. Emerging mechanisms of long noncoding RNA function during normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Alvarez-Dominguez, JR, Lodish, HF. 2017. Blood 130, 1965-1975.
    doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-06-788695PMID:28928124
  8. Genetically engineered red cells expressing single domain camelid antibodies confer long-term protection against botulinum neurotoxin. Huang, NJ, Pishesha, N, Mukherjee, J, Zhang, S, Deshycka, R, Sudaryo, V, Dong, M, Shoemaker, CB, Lodish, HF. 2017. Nat Commun 8, 423.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00448-0PMID:28871080
  9. Thyroid hormone receptor beta and NCOA4 regulate terminal erythrocyte differentiation. Gao, X, Lee, HY, Li, W, Platt, RJ, Barrasa, MI, Ma, Q, Elmes, RR, Rosenfeld, MG, Lodish, HF. 2017. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 10107-10112.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711058114PMID:28864529
  10. The Super-Enhancer-Derived alncRNA-EC7/Bloodlinc Potentiates Red Blood Cell Development in trans. Alvarez-Dominguez, JR, Knoll, M, Gromatzky, AA, Lodish, HF. 2017. Cell Rep 19, 2503-2514.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.05.082PMID:28636939
More Publications


Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute