Rudolf Jaenisch

Rudolf Jaenisch

Professor of Biology; Core Member, Whitehead Institute; Member, Institute of Medicine

Rudolf Jaenisch uses pluripotent cells (ES and iPS cells) to study the genetic and epigenetic basis of human diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism and cancer.





Robert Burger



Assistant Phone


  • MD, 1967, University of Munich

Research Summary

We aim to understand the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in mammalian development and disease. Embryonic stem cells are important because they have the potential to generate any cell type in the body and, therefore, have great potential for regenerative medicine. We study the way somatic cells reprogram to an embryonic pluripotent state, and use patient specific pluripotent cells to study complex human diseases.


  • German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Otto Warburg Medal, 2014
  • New York Academy, Medicine Medal, 2013
  • Franklin Institute, Benjamin Franklin Medal, 2013
  • National Science Foundation, National Medal of Science, 2011
  • National Science Foundation, National Medal of Science, 2010
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2003

Key Publications

Recent Publications

  1. Multiplex epigenome editing of MECP2 to rescue Rett syndrome neurons. Qian, J, Guan, X, Xie, B, Xu, C, Niu, J, Tang, X, Li, CH, Colecraft, HM, Jaenisch, R, Liu, XS et al.. 2023. Sci Transl Med 15, eadd4666.
    doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.add4666PMID:36652535
  2. Tunable Conductive Hydrogel Scaffolds for Neural Cell Differentiation. Tringides, CM, Boulingre, M, Khalil, A, Lungjangwa, T, Jaenisch, R, Mooney, DJ. 2022. Adv Healthc Mater , e2202221.
    doi: 10.1002/adhm.202202221PMID:36495560
  3. The dynamic clustering of insulin receptor underlies its signaling and is disrupted in insulin resistance. Dall'Agnese, A, Platt, JM, Zheng, MM, Friesen, M, Dall'Agnese, G, Blaise, AM, Spinelli, JB, Henninger, JE, Tevonian, EN, Hannett, NM et al.. 2022. Nat Commun 13, 7522.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-35176-7PMID:36473871
  4. Autophagy promotes cell survival by maintaining NAD levels. Kataura, T, Sedlackova, L, Otten, EG, Kumari, R, Shapira, D, Scialo, F, Stefanatos, R, Ishikawa, KI, Kelly, G, Seranova, E et al.. 2022. Dev Cell 57, 2584-2598.e11.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2022.10.008PMID:36413951
  5. Fragile X Syndrome Patient-Derived Neurons Developing in the Mouse Brain Show FMR1-Dependent Phenotypes. Krzisch, MA, Wu, H, Yuan, B, Whitfield, TW, Liu, XS, Fu, D, Garrett-Engele, CM, Khalil, AS, Lungjangwa, T, Shih, J et al.. 2023. Biol Psychiatry 93, 71-81.
    doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.08.020PMID:36372569
  6. Mesenchymal and adrenergic cell lineage states in neuroblastoma possess distinct immunogenic phenotypes. Sengupta, S, Das, S, Crespo, AC, Cornel, AM, Patel, AG, Mahadevan, NR, Campisi, M, Ali, AK, Sharma, B, Rowe, JH et al.. 2022. Nat Cancer 3, 1228-1246.
    doi: 10.1038/s43018-022-00427-5PMID:36138189
  7. SARS-CoV-2 infection of human pluripotent stem cell-derived liver organoids reveals potential mechanisms of liver pathology. Richards, A, Friesen, M, Khalil, A, Barrasa, MI, Gehrke, L, Jaenisch, R. 2022. iScience 25, 105146.
    doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105146PMID:36128218
  8. Development of a physiological insulin resistance model in human stem cell-derived adipocytes. Friesen, M, Khalil, AS, Barrasa, MI, Jeppesen, JF, Mooney, DJ, Jaenisch, R. 2022. Sci Adv 8, eabn7298.
    doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abn7298PMID:35714187
  9. The nuclear receptor THRB facilitates differentiation of human PSCs into more mature hepatocytes. Ma, H, de Zwaan, E, Guo, YE, Cejas, P, Thiru, P, van de Bunt, M, Jeppesen, JF, Syamala, S, Dall'Agnese, A, Abraham, BJ et al.. 2022. Cell Stem Cell 29, 795-809.e11.
    doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.03.015PMID:35452598
  10. Air-liquid interface culture promotes maturation and allows environmental exposure of pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar epithelium. Abo, KM, Sainz de Aja, J, Lindstrom-Vautrin, J, Alysandratos, KD, Richards, A, Garcia-de-Alba, C, Huang, J, Hix, OT, Werder, RB, Bullitt, E et al.. 2022. JCI Insight 7, .
    doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.155589PMID:35315362
  11. Beatrice Mintz, a giant in mammalian development. Jaenisch, R. 2022. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 119, e2201631119.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.2201631119PMID:35286191
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Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute