Recruiting new talent to PughLab!

We are looking for talented and motivated individuals who want to be a part of the epigenomics revolution!

We developed and use the ultra-high resolution ChIP-exo mapping technique.1 Most notably, we are using yeast and human systems to define the positional and mechanistic organization of all proteins that interact with the genome. Knowledge of protein positional organization informs of biological mechanisms that we can test using various gene editing methods.2 In human systems we look at many cell types, including clinical samples that are prepared and sequenced here in Dr. Pugh’s lab. Dr. Mahony’s lab is also investigating neuronal cells.3 What is most exciting is integrating thousands of datasets into a coherent view of genome regulation. This is what is most challenging also, as it involves developing advances in computational and statistical methods. Read more Recruiting new talent to PughLab!

How to Join the Lab

How to apply for a Postdoc Position:

  • Please send a Cover Letter, CV, and Letters of Recommendation to our Principal Investigator, Frank Pugh, at

How to apply to a Graduate Program:

Read more How to Join the Lab

Discovered: How to unlock inaccessible genes

29 January 2016

It was known that the DNA in cells is wrapped around proteins in structures called nucleosomes that resemble beads on a string, which allow the genetic material to be folded and compacted into a structure called chromatin. “We knew that the compaction into chromatin makes genes inaccessible to the cellular machinery necessary for gene expression, and we also knew that enzymes opened up the chromatin to specify which genes were accessible and could be expressed in a cell, but until now, we didn’t know the mechanism by which these enzymes functioned,” said B. Franklin Pugh, Evan Pugh Professor, Willaman Chair in Molecular Biology, and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University and one of the two corresponding authors of the paper along with Matthieu Gérard of the University of Paris-Sud in France.
Read more Discovered: How to unlock inaccessible genes

Frank Pugh Honored as an Evan Pugh Professor at Penn State

09 May 2014
B. Franklin Pugh, Willaman Professor in Molecular Biology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, has been honored by the University with the title of Evan Pugh Professor. The title is the highest honor that Penn State bestows on a faculty member.

Pugh has built a biochemistry research program that investigates how all genes of an organism are controlled by their environment. He uses as model systems human cells and yeast cells — both of which are among the large grouping of eukaryote cells that have a number of features in common, including a distinct nucleus. “Since the gene-transcription machinery is fundamentally the same in all eukaryotes, lessons learned from yeast provide the foundation for understanding how genes are regulated in humans, and how misregulation of genes leads to diseases such as cancer,” Pugh said. “We use yeast as a simple ‘playground’ to test ideas, then jump to human cells to see how the ideas bear out in more complex systems.”

Read more Frank Pugh Honored as an Evan Pugh Professor at Penn State

Packaging Process for Genes Discovered in New Research

19 May 2011

Scientists at Penn State University have achieved a major milestone in the attempt to assemble, in a test tube, entire chromosomes from their component parts. The achievement reveals the process a cell uses to package the basic building blocks of an organism’s entire genetic code — its genome. The evidence provided by early research with the new procedure overturns three previous theories of the genome-packaging process and opens the door to a new era of genome-wide biochemistry research. A paper describing the team’s achievement will be published in the journal Science on 20 May 2011.
Read more Packaging Process for Genes Discovered in New Research