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.





Anne Odera



  • 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. Functional single-cell genomics of human cytomegalovirus infection. Hein, MY, Weissman, JS. 2021. Nat Biotechnol , .
    doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01059-3PMID:34697476
  2. CRISPR-based functional genomics in human dendritic cells. Jost, M, Jacobson, AN, Hussmann, JA, Cirolia, G, Fischbach, MA, Weissman, JS. 2021. Elife 10, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.65856PMID:33904395
  3. Genome-wide programmable transcriptional memory by CRISPR-based epigenome editing. Nuñez, JK, Chen, J, Pommier, GC, Cogan, JZ, Replogle, JM, Adriaens, C, Ramadoss, GN, Shi, Q, Hung, KL, Samelson, AJ et al.. 2021. Cell 184, 2503-2519.e17.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.025PMID:33838111
  4. Single-cell lineages reveal the rates, routes, and drivers of metastasis in cancer xenografts. Quinn, JJ, Jones, MG, Okimoto, RA, Nanjo, S, Chan, MM, Yosef, N, Bivona, TG, Weissman, JS. 2021. Science 371, .
    doi: 10.1126/science.abc1944PMID:33479121
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
Photo credit: Courtesy of Whitehead Institute