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John Rinn

John Rinn, Ph.D.

John Rinn is a senior associate member of the Broad Insitute. Early in his career, he was one of the first to discover an abundance of RNA molecules emanating from regions of the human genome that are not involved in making proteins. He pursued research into these mysterious RNA molecules for his postdoctoral work, eventually discovering a novel type of genome regulation involving large intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs). LincRNAs play critical roles in health and disease, and are known to be involved in cancer, immune signaling, stem cell development, and other biological processes.

Rinn is currently a participant in a collaborative Klarman Cell Observatory project that focuses on large noncoding RNAs in embryonic stem cells. Collaborating with several groups at the Broad, Rinn also works on next-generation RNA sequencing analyses and develops high-throughput screening assays to identify the functional roles of lincRNAs. By using multiple, high-throughput genomic technologies, Rinn is discovering and characterizing the functions of these molecules throughout the human and mouse genomes. Recently, his team used genetically modified mouse models to demonstrate that lincRNAs are required for life and development, thus revealing critical clues about the roles of lincRNAs in genome regulation. By leveraging these multifaceted approaches, from molecules to animal models, he aims to untangle the role of the non-coding genome in human health and disease.

Rinn received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. He completed postdoctoral training as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellow at Stanford University in the Department of Dermatology.

March 2014