Michele Markstein

Photograph of First Last

Assistant Professor

Contact Info

Phone: 413-545-8757
Office: 406A Morrill III South


B.S., University of Texas at Austin, 1991
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2003
Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley, 2000-2003


2003 - 2004, University of California, Berkeley
2004 - 2012, Harvard Medical School

Research Interests

Regulation of gene expression

We are interested in understanding fundamental mechanisms that coordinate and compartmentalize the transcription of genes as a function of their positions in the genome. We have found that the effects of genome position vary across cell types indicating that genome position effects are plastic. To study the mechanisms and consequences of genome plasticity we use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster where we develop transgenic probes, disease models, chemical assays and bioinformatics tools.

Representative Publications

Markstein, M. 2013. Modeling colorectal cancer as a 3-dimensional disease in a dish: the case for drug screening using organoids, zebrafish, and fruit flies. Drug Development Today: Technologies, e73-81. PDF

Roti G., Carlton A, Ross K.N., Markstein M., Pajcini K., Su A.H., Perrimon N., Pear W.S., Kung A.L., Blacklow S.C., Aster J.C., Stegmaier K. 2013. Complementary genomic screens identify SERCA as a therapeutic target in NOTCH1 mutated cancer. Cancer Cell, 23: 390-405. PDF

Ni, J. Q., Liu, L. P., Binari, R., Hardy, R., Shim, H. S., Cavallaro, A., Booker, M., Pfeiffer, B. D., Markstein, M., Wang, H., Villalta, C., Laverty, T. R., Perkins, L. A., and Perrimon, N. 2009. A Drosophila resource of transgenic RNAi lines for neurogenetics. Genetics, 182: 1089-1100. PDF

Markstein, M., Pitsouli, C., Villalta, C., Celniker, S. E., and Perrimon, N. 2008. Exploiting position effects and the gypsy retrovirus insulator to engineer precisely expressed transgenes. Nature Genetics, 40: 476-483.
Featured in Nature Methods and Harvard Focus Magazine. PDF

Ni, J. Q.*, Markstein, M.*, Binari, R.*, Pfeiffer, B., Liu, L. P., Villalta, C., Booker, M., Perkins, L., and Perrimon, N. 2008. Vector and parameters for targeted transgenic RNA interference in Drosophila melanogaster. *Contributed equally. Nature Methods, 5: 49-51. PDF

Markstein, M.*, Zinzen, R.*, Markstein, P., Yee, K. P., Erives, A., Stathopoulos, A., and Levine, M. 2004. A regulatory code for neurogenic gene expression in the Drosophila embryo. *Contributed equally. Development, 131: 2387-2394. PDF

Senger, K., Armstrong, G. W., Rowell, W. J., Kwan, J. M., Markstein, M., and Levine, M. 2004. Immunity regulatory DNAs share common organizational features in Drosophila. Molecular Cell, 13: 19-32. PDF

Stathopoulos, A., Van Drenth, M., Erives, A., Markstein, M., and Levine, M. 2002. Whole-genome analysis of dorsal-ventral patterning in the Drosophila embryo. Cell, 111: 687-701. PDF

Markstein, M. and Levine, M. 2002. Decoding cis-regulatory DNAs in the Drosophila genome. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, 12: 601-606. PDF

Markstein, M., Markstein, P., Markstein, V., and Levine, M. S. 2002. Genome-wide analysis of clustered Dorsal binding sites identifies putative target genes in the Drosophila embryo. PNAS, 99: 763-768. PDF