Frontiers of Science: Prof. Ellen Rothenberg

    September 12th at 12:00
    On-site event
    Presidentti auditorium, BioCity

    Prof. Ellen Rothenberg, California Institute of Technology, USA
    Epigenomic and gene regulatory network mechanisms controlling the dynamics of early T cell lineage commitment
    Host: Riitta Lahesmaa (

    Coffee and sandwich at 11:45, first come first served!


    Six PhD researchers and early-career postdocs are welcome to have a lunch in and discuss with Prof. Rothenberg after the seminar. This is a great possibility to learn hosting skills in friendly environment and create connections for future. Everyone is welcome to join, BioCity Turku will offer the lunch.

    If you got interested, please send an email to


    The Rothenberg group studies the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for developmental lineage choice as hematopoietic stem cells differentiate into T lymphocytes. This is a complex process in which stem-cell multipotentiality is lost in steps that actually overlap with the initiation of T-cell specific differentiation events. Thus, it offers unique insights into the nature of “stem-ness” and the distinction between activation of a development program and irreversible commitment to that program. The approaches used in the lab are a combination of in vitro developmental biology, high-resolution characterization of individual cell developmental states, and molecular genetics of gene regulation. The Rothenberg group focuses on identifying the transcription factors and signaling events that induce T-lineage gene expression in an uncommitted precursor and determine also how they work to force the cell to relinquish other developmental options. Kinetic dissection of this complex process using in vitro differentiation systems and retroviral perturbation make it possible to solve the roles of individual regulatory molecules in successive, highly-defined developmental contexts.


    Selected publications

    Shin B, Zhou W, Wang J, Gao F, Rothenberg EV. 2023. Runx factors launch T cell and innate lymphoid programs via direct and gene network-based mechanisms. Nat Immunol. 2023 Sep;24(9):1458-1472. doi: 10.1038/s41590-023-01585-z

    Rothenberg EV. 2023. The β-selection step shapes T-cell identity. Nature. 2023 Jan;613(7944):440-442. doi: 10.1038/d41586-023-00025-0

    Shin B, Hosokawa H, Romero-Wolf M, Zhou W, Masuhara K, Tobin VR, Levanon D, Groner Y, Rothenberg EV. 2021. Runx1 and Runx3 drive progenitor to T-lineage transcriptome conversion in mouse T cell commitment via dynamic genomic site switching. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 26;118(4):e2019655118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2019655118


    General information

    • You can download and save all the autumn 2024 FoS-seminars to your calendar from here:
    • Registration is not needed, participation list is circulated in the audience
    • If you are a student and later wish to get a certificate of attendance from the Frontier of Science seminars, print out the seminar diary and after the seminar ask the BioCity coordinator to sign it
    • Please note that any audio or video recording of the seminars is strictly forbidden.
    • Autumn 2024 image credits to Mia Åstrand: Details of the Bacteroides fragilis VgrG protein (PDB ID: 8GRA). Image created in the PyMOL Molecular Graphics System, Version 2.5 Schrödinger, LLC.