Epigenomic Regulation in Development and Cancer

What We Do

Bernstein lab pursues a systems-level, molecular understanding of chromatin structure and the epigenetic regulation of cellular state, and how these systems go awry in disease.



MGH Research lab
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA


Broad Institute
415 Main Street, Room 6041
Cambridge, MA


Latest News

July 2019
Brad was interviewed for the ACS Theory lab podcast last week! “Cancer has classically been thought of as a genetic disease, but…” 
July 2019
Volker Hovestadt, Kyle S. Smith, Laure Bihannic, Mariella G. Filbin together led this study of medulloblastoma cellular heterogeneity. Congratulations to the team! Medulloblastoma is a malignant childhood cerebellar tumor type that comprises distinct molecular subgroups. Whereas genomic characteristics of these subgroups are well defined, the extent to which cellular diversity underlies their divergent biology and … Continued
July 2019
Yotam Drier (Bernstein lab) and Paloma Cejas (Shivdasani lab at DFCI) describe how enhancer signatures in non-functional PNET tumors can be used to stratify subtypes and predict patient outcomes. Read the paper in Nature Medicine. This was a great collaboration between the Bernstein lab at MGH, the Shivdasani lab at DFCI, several teams of clinicians … Continued

Research Areas

We develop cutting edge technologies – many of which utilize sequencing-based technology – to both map and perturb chromatin state, with a focus on single cells, single molecules, and large scale perturbations with small molecules and CRISPR screens. Our current projects focus on: High throughput low input and single cell transcriptomic and epigenomic mapping Single … Continued
Genes encoding chromatin regulators are frequently mutated in human cancer. In specific cases, these alterations appear to be major drivers of the malignant state. In addition, although cancer is typically thought of as a genetic disease, the importance of epigenetic aberrations and epigenetic deregulation is becoming increasingly clear through a convergence of findings, in addition … Continued
The group investigates mechanisms by which chromatin, transcription factors (TFs) and interacting regulatory sequences control gene activity, poising and repression.
Chromatin regulators, such as the Polycomb and trithorax complexes, play critical roles in controlling the expression and potential of genes during development. We identified a novel chromatin structure, termed bivalent domains, that is subject to simultaneous regulation by Polycomb repressors and trithorax activators. Bivalent domains appear to keep developmental regulator genes poised in pluripotent embryonic … Continued