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Tom Misteli, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator
Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression
Building 41, Room B610
Bethesda MD, 20892

Research Topics

Cell Biology of Genomes

My laboratory studies the cell biology of genomes. We use molecular techniques in conjunction with live-cell microscopy to understand how genomes are organized in intact cells and how the spatial organization of genomes contributes to their function. These studies provide insights into basic biological mechanisms and provide the foundation for novel diagnostic and clinical applications in cancer research.

Defects in genome organization and nuclear architecture are responsible for numerous human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and muscular dystrophies and they have recently been linked to human aging. We are using several differentiation and disease models, including embryonic and adult stem cells, to elucidate how genome organization contributes to physiological processes and disease, particularly cancer and aging.


Tom Misteli is an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of genome cell biology. He trained at the University of London, UK, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, where he pioneered the use of imaging approaches to study genomes in living cells. His laboratory aims to uncover fundamental principles of higher order genome organization and to apply this knowledge to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for cancer and aging. He has received numerous awards for his work, acts as an advisor for several national and international agencies and serves on numerous editorial boards. He received the Gian Tondury Award, the Gold Medal of The Charles University and the 2012 Flemming Award. He also serves as an Associate Director for the Center for Cancer Research.

Selected Publications

  1. Roukos V, Voss TC, Schmidt CK, Lee S, Wangsa D, Misteli T. Spatial dynamics of chromosome translocations in living cells. Science. 2013;341(6146):660-4.
  2. Luco RF, Pan Q, Tominaga K, Blencowe BJ, Pereira-Smith OM, Misteli T. Regulation of alternative splicing by histone modifications. Science. 2010;327(5968):996-1000.
  3. Soutoglou E, Dorn JF, Sengupta K, Jasin M, Nussenzweig A, Ried T, Danuser G, Misteli T. Positional stability of single double-strand breaks in mammalian cells. Nat Cell Biol. 2007;9(6):675-82.
  4. Scaffidi P, Misteli T. Lamin A-dependent nuclear defects in human aging. Science. 2006;312(5776):1059-63.
  5. Phair RD, Misteli T. High mobility of proteins in the mammalian cell nucleus. Nature. 2000;404(6778):604-9.
This page was last updated on June 11th, 2014