About Us

Reflecting the breadth of the field itself, the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School houses a faculty working on diverse problems, using a variety of approaches and model organisms, and having a unified focus on the genome as an organizing principle for understanding biological phenomena.

While the range of current efforts can best be appreciated by reading the research interests of individual faculty, the scope of the work conducted in the department includes (but is by no means limited to) human genetics of both single gene disorders and complex traits, development of genomic technology, cancer biology, developmental biology, signal transduction, cell biological problems, stem cell biology, computational genetics, immunology, synthetic biology, epigenetics, evolutionary biology and plant biology.

The mission of our department encompasses research and education while serving as a focal point for drawing together and integrating basic and clinical genetic efforts conducted across the University, the School and HMS-affiliated hospitals. The Department of Genetics is strongly committed to supporting its current community of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students; securing the best up-and-coming scientists; and setting its sights on future research opportunities.

Clifford Tabin, Ph.D. - Chairman
(617) 432-7618

Robert E. Kingston, Ph.D. - Vice Chairman
(617) 726-5990

Vonda Shannon - Director
(617) 432-7077

Department History

In 1981, recognizing that genetics was an important emerging field, Harvard University established a new Department of Genetics at the Medical School. The relevance of genetics had previously been recognized at Harvard. Important advances in human genetics had been made at affiliated institutes such as Children’s Hospital and the MGH. More >>

Composition and Departmental Structure

We have a concerted effort to build the strongest possible Department while drawing upon the full diversity of talented people in the field. There are currently 36 faculty members of which 26 are tenured, having begun their careers in the Department. 25% of our tenured faculty are women. More >>

Relationship to Other Departments and Institutes at Harvard

In addition to the Department of Genetics, there are eight other basic science departments at the Harvard Medical School: Microbiology and ImmunobiologyBiological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology,Cell BiologySystems BiologyNeurobiology, Health Care Policy,Department of StemMore >>

  • Business Office

    The Department of Genetics Business Office staff of eight serves all members of the department. As such, it is responsible for providing a full set of services including purchasing, invoice processing, budget management, human resource support, scheduling, safety related matters and other responsibilities. Our Main Office, Room 330, is located on the 3rd floor of the New Research Building adjacent to the elevator lobby. Typical hours are 8 AM to 5 PM. We can be reached by phone at 617-432-7666.

    Administrative Organization