Rajan Jain, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a graduate group affiliation with the Cell and Molecular Biology group.
The Jain research lab is interested in how genome organization shapes organogenesis. Overall, their research seeks to understand how cell identity is established and maintained. Jain’s team combines traditional molecular biology and genetic tools with innovative imaging and next-generation sequencing approaches to define how an embryonic stem cell progressively restrict their potential to give rise to various differentiated cell types in the body. The Jain group routinely leverages classic models of stem cell biology to dissect the underpinnings of cell fate decisions. The lab has a focus on cardiac biology but routinely works outside it.
It has become clear that the genome is folded and organized in a stereotypical manner in three- dimensional space. A major interest of the laboratory is deciphering how the organization of the genome in 3D space regulates genes and cell fate decisions. We are defining how the nuclear lamina, a network of proteins on the inner side of the nuclear membrane, interacts with chromatin to drive gene regulation and shape cell fate choices. Projects in the laboratory are geared towards defining the rules that govern nuclear lamina-chromatin interactions. We are also studying how mutations in LMNA and related proteins impact nuclear architecture and translate into cardiac dysfunction in patients.
Keywords: nuclear architecture; gene regulation; chromatin; epigenetics; 3D genome organization; heart development; stem cell biology; mechanobiology
Working Group(s): Working Group 2: How do cells adapt to and change their mechanical environment?; Working Group 3: How do cells remember their mechanical environment?