Laurie A. Boyer, PhD

Laurie A. Boyer



Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering


Gene regulatory mechanisms controlling cell fate
Develops new approaches for promoting cardiac regeneration
Tool development for cardiac tissue engineering


Associate Member, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research


Laurie A. Boyer earned her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She then joined the Whitehead Institute as a postdoctoral fellow in both the Jaenisch and Young labs where she pioneered the development of high-throughput platforms for genome wide analysis of transcription factors and chromatin regulators in stem cells, opening the field of stem cell genomics. In 2007, Boyer joined the Biology Department and in 2015, she was also appointed as an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering. 


The Boyer lab investigates how complex circuits of genes and proteins are coordinated at the molecular level to produce robust developmental outcomes and has set the stage for understanding how faulty regulation leads to disease. We focus particular attention on dissecting the gene regulatory mechanisms that control lineage commitment during heart development and congenital heart defects; and applying this knowledge toward engineering cardiac tissues. As part of this work, we are investigating the regulatory logic that programs tissue specific gene expression during cardiac lineage commitment and we are developing tools that enables us to reprogram this logic in response to cardiac injury – opening new possibilities for stimulating adult cardiac regeneration. We are also working to develop 3D cardiac organoids as a models system to study mammalian heart development in a dish and to develop a robust platform for phenotype, drug, and toxicology screening.

Research Areas: 

Honors & Awards: 

2007 Honorary Doctorate, Framingham State College
2008 Reed Research Award - MIT
2008 The Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences Award
2008 Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Investigator Award
2009 Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Science
2011 Emily and Jeotha Wade Research Award
2012 Irvin and Helen Sizer Career Development

Selected Publications:

Surface, Lauren E., Paul A. Fields, Vidya Subramanian, Russell Behmer, Namrata Udeshi, Sally E. Peach, Steven A. Carr, Jacob D. Jaffe, and Laurie A. Boyer. "H2A.Z.1 Monoubiquitylation Antagonizes BRD2 to Maintain Poised Chromatin in ESCs." Cell Rep 14, no. 5 (2016): 1142-55.
Wang, Xinchen, Nathan R. Tucker, Gizem Rizki, Robert Mills, Peter Hl Krijger, Elzo de Wit, Vidya Subramanian, Eric Bartell, Xinh-Xinh Nguyen, Jiangchuan Ye et al. "Discovery and validation of sub-threshold genome-wide association study loci using epigenomic signatures." Elife 5 (2016).
O'Meara, Caitlin C., Joseph A. Wamstad, Rachel A. Gladstone, Gregory M. Fomovsky, Vincent L. Butty, Avanti Shrikumar, Joseph B. Gannon, Laurie A. Boyer, and Richard T. Lee. "Transcriptional reversion of cardiac myocyte fate during mammalian cardiac regeneration." Circ Res 116, no. 5 (2015): 804-15.
Kundaje, Anshul, Wouter Meuleman, Jason Ernst, Misha Bilenky, Angela Yen, Alireza Heravi-Moussavi, Pouya Kheradpour, Zhizhuo Zhang, Jianrong Wang, Laurie A. Boyer et al. "Integrative analysis of 111 reference human epigenomes." Nature 518, no. 7539 (2015): 317-30.
Klattenhoff, Carla A., Johanna C. Scheuermann, Lauren E. Surface, Robert K. Bradley, Paul A. Fields, Matthew L. Steinhauser, Huiming Ding, Vincent L. Butty, Lillian Torrey, Laurie A. Boyer et al. "Braveheart, a long noncoding RNA required for cardiovascular lineage commitment." Cell 152, no. 3 (2013): 570-83.
Wamstad, Joseph A., Jeffrey M. Alexander, Rebecca M. Truty, Avanti Shrikumar, Fugen Li, Kirsten E. Eilertson, Huiming Ding, John N. Wylie, Alexander R. Pico, Laurie A. Boyer et al. "Dynamic and coordinated epigenetic regulation of developmental transitions in the cardiac lineage." Cell 151, no. 1 (2012): 206-20.