Jonathan Weissman

Jonathan Weissman

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

Jonathan Weissman investigates how proteins fold into their correct shape and how misfolding impacts disease and normal physiology, while building innovative tools for exploring the organizational principles of biological systems.





Cristen Muresan



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 1993, MIT
  • AB, 1988, Physics, Harvard

Research Summary

We study how cells ensure that proteins fold into their correct shape, as well as the role of protein misfolding in disease and normal physiology. We also build innovative tools for broadly exploring organizational principles of biological systems. These include ribosome profiling, which globally monitors protein translation, CRIPSRi/a for controlling the expression of human genes and rewiring the epigenome, and lineage tracing tools, to record the history of cells.


  • Ira Herskowitz Award, Genetic Society of America, 2020
  • European Molecular Biology Organization, Member, 2017
  • National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery, 2015
  • American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow, 2010
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2009
  • Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, Tel Aviv University, 2008
  • Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator’s Award, 2004
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Assistant Investigator, 2000
  • Searle Scholars Program Fellowship, 1997
  • David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, 1996

Recent Publications

  1. Structural and mechanistic basis of the EMC-dependent biogenesis of distinct transmembrane clients. Miller-Vedam, LE, Bräuning, B, Popova, KD, Schirle Oakdale, NT, Bonnar, JL, Prabu, JR, Boydston, EA, Sevillano, N, Shurtleff, MJ, Stroud, RM et al.. 2020. Elife 9, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.62611PMID:33236988
  2. Pharmaceutical-Grade Rigosertib Is a Microtubule-Destabilizing Agent. Jost, M, Chen, Y, Gilbert, LA, Horlbeck, MA, Krenning, L, Menchon, G, Rai, A, Cho, MY, Stern, JJ, Prota, AE et al.. 2020. Mol Cell 79, 191-198.e3.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2020.06.008PMID:32619469
  3. Pervasive functional translation of noncanonical human open reading frames. Chen, J, Brunner, AD, Cogan, JZ, Nuñez, JK, Fields, AP, Adamson, B, Itzhak, DN, Li, JY, Mann, M, Leonetti, MD et al.. 2020. Science 367, 1140-1146.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aay0262PMID:32139545
  4. Fitness effects of CRISPR/Cas9-targeting of long noncoding RNA genes. Horlbeck, MA, Liu, SJ, Chang, HY, Lim, DA, Weissman, JS. 2020. Nat Biotechnol 38, 573-576.
    doi: 10.1038/s41587-020-0428-0PMID:32094656
  5. Titrating gene expression using libraries of systematically attenuated CRISPR guide RNAs. Jost, M, Santos, DA, Saunders, RA, Horlbeck, MA, Hawkins, JS, Scaria, SM, Norman, TM, Hussmann, JA, Liem, CR, Gross, CA et al.. 2020. Nat Biotechnol 38, 355-364.
    doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0387-5PMID:31932729
  6. Exploring genetic interaction manifolds constructed from rich single-cell phenotypes. Norman, TM, Horlbeck, MA, Replogle, JM, Ge, AY, Xu, A, Jost, M, Gilbert, LA, Weissman, JS. 2019. Science 365, 786-793.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aax4438PMID:31395745
  7. Molecular recording of mammalian embryogenesis. Chan, MM, Smith, ZD, Grosswendt, S, Kretzmer, H, Norman, TM, Adamson, B, Jost, M, Quinn, JJ, Yang, D, Jones, MG et al.. 2019. Nature 570, 77-82.
    doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1184-5PMID:31086336
  8. Cycloheximide can distort measurements of mRNA levels and translation efficiency. Santos, DA, Shi, L, Tu, BP, Weissman, JS. 2019. Nucleic Acids Res 47, 4974-4985.
    doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz205PMID:30916348
  9. Ribosome Profiling: Global Views of Translation. Ingolia, NT, Hussmann, JA, Weissman, JS. 2019. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 11, .
    doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a032698PMID:30037969
  10. The ER membrane protein complex interacts cotranslationally to enable biogenesis of multipass membrane proteins. Shurtleff, MJ, Itzhak, DN, Hussmann, JA, Schirle Oakdale, NT, Costa, EA, Jonikas, M, Weibezahn, J, Popova, KD, Jan, CH, Sinitcyn, P et al.. 2018. Elife 7, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.37018PMID:29809151
Photo credit: Courtesy of Whitehead Institute