Tom Misteli, Ph.D.

NIH Distinguished 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 establish 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 been linked to human aging. We are using several differentiation and disease models to elucidate how genome organization contributes to physiological processes and disease, particularly in cancer and aging.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Cell Biology of Genomes Group has an opening for an outstanding postdoctoral fellow to explore synthetic biology and bioengineering approaches to genome organization. Please send your C.V. and statement of interest to

Summer Students

This year's summer internship positions have been filled. Thank you for your interest in our work.


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 initiated 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 has received numerous awards including the Gian Tondury Award, the Gold Medal of The Charles University, the 2012 Flemming Award, The Wilhem Bernhard Medal and the Herman Beerman Award.

Selected Publications

  1. Shachar S, Voss TC, Pegoraro G, Sciascia N, Misteli T. Identification of Gene Positioning Factors Using High-Throughput Imaging Mapping. Cell. 2015;162(4):911-23.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, May 16, 2024