Alexander Meissner, Ph.D.
Alexander Meissner is a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associate professor in the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. Meissner is also a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a Robertson Investigator at the New York Stem Cell Foundation. He is a participant in a project on cellular reprogramming in collaboration with the Klarman Cell Observatory.
The Meissner laboratory uses genomic tools to study developmental and stem cell biology with a particular focus on the role of epigenetic regulation (changes that do not alter the primary nucleotide sequence). Meissner and his colleagues have pioneered next generation sequencing technologies to study the epigenome in normal development and disease. Work from Meissner’s lab has provided the first mechanistic insights into the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and highlighted several of the key roadblocks to produce these cells and how they can be overcome.
The Meissner laboratory is also developing and applying high-throughput bisulfite sequencing (HTBS) technologies for genome-wide (nucleotide resolution) DNA methylation analysis. To gain insights into the interaction and regulation of epigenetic modifications (histone modifications and DNA methylation), the Meissner lab uses loss of function and gain of function systems. This should ultimately lead to generating reference epigenomes for many cell types and a better understanding of normal and diseased cellular states.
Meissner received his B.S. in medical biotechnology from the Technical University Berlin and completed his Ph.D. work in Rudolf Jaenisch’s laboratory at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship.