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Patrick Cahan, PhD

Patrick Cahan
Research Interests: Computational and experimental exploration of gene regulatory networks in development, stem cell engineering, tumorigenesis and cancer progression
Lab Website: Cahan Lab
Miller Research Building 653
Research Interests

Research Interests

Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) govern the cell’s transcriptional output both at steady state and in response to perturbations, and thus act as major molecular determinants of cell-type identity. The long-term aims of my research program are:

  1. to develop computational and experimental tools to map mammalian GRNs,
  2. to better understand how canonical signaling pathways modulate and are modulated by transiently established GRNs in the developing embryo, and
  3. to characterize how cell type specific GRNs are rewired during tumorigenesis and progression.

Towards these ends, we work across several disciplines including molecular and developmental biology, manipulation of pluripotent stem cells, population based and single-cell genomics, and computational and network biology. The outcomes of my research program will include improving the fidelity of directed differentiation to mesendodermal lineages (for purposes of disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine), the generation of fundamental insights into the interactions between GRNs, signaling pathways, and cell fate decisions, and improved models of human tumors.

Titles & Affiliations


  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • Co-Director, Biomedical Engineering Master’s Program

Affiliated Centers & Institutes



  • PhD, Computational Biology, Washington University, 2009
  • MS, Genomics & Bioinformatics, George Washington University, 2004
  • BS, Computer Science, University of Maryland, 2000
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