John Rinn

Professor of Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology and of Pathology

Harvard University
7 Divinity Ave
Bauer Lab, Room 305
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617 496 3561

Lab Size: Between 5 and 10


Our research aims to understand the role of large non-coding RNA in establishing the distinct epigenetic states of adult and embryonic cells and their misregulation in cancer. By exploiting multiple high-throughput genomic technologies his group is actively discovering and functionally characterizing an abundance of these mysterious molecules throughout the human genome. This work has revealed the ability of large non-coding RNAs to act in trans to silence large genomic regions via association with polycomb group complexes that could be further developed as novel cancer therapeutics that target and silence overactive oncogenes in cancer.


S. Loewer, M. Guttman, Y.H. Loh, M. Garber, K. Thomas, I.H. Park 1, M. Curran, S. Agarwal, P. Manos, S. Datta, E.S. Lander, T. Schlaeger, G.Q. Daley* and J.L. Rinn*. Large intergenic non-coding RNAs as novel regulators of induced pluripotent cell survival (2010). Nature Genetics.

M. Huarte, M. Guttman, D. Feldser, M. Garber, A.M. Khalil, O. Zuk, I Amit, A. Regev, E.S. Lander, T. Jacks and J.L. Rinn. A large intergenic noncoding RNA induced by p53 mediates global gene repression in the p53 transcriptional response. Cell. 42(3):409-19.

N.L. Vastenhouw, Y. Zhang, I.G. Woods, F. Imam, A. Regev, X.S. Liu, J.L. Rinn and A.F. Schier. Chromatin signature of embryonic pluripotency is established during genome activation (2010). Nature. Apr 8;464(7290):922-6. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

A.M. Khalil, M. Guttman, M. Huarte, M. Garber, A. Raj, D. Rivera, K. Thomas, A. Presser, B. Bernsteina,d, A. Oudenaarden, A. Regev, E.S. Lander* and J.L. Rinn*. Many Mammalian Large Intergenic Non coding RNAs Associate with Chromatin Modifying Complexes (2009). PNAS. Jul 14;106(28):11667-72. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

M. Guttman, I. Amit, M. Garber, C. French, M.F. Lin, D. Feldser, M. Hurate, T.S. Mikkelsen, O. Zuk, N. Hacohen, B.E. Bernstein , M. Kellis, A. Regev, J.L. Rinn*, E.S. Lander*. Chromatin signature reveals more than a thousand highly conserved, large non-coding RNAs in mammals (2009) Nature. Mar 12;458(7235):223-7