People / Andrew Feinberg, MD, MPH (Director)

Director, Center for Epigenetics
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Mental Health, Oncology, Biostatistics, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Biostatistics, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences


BA, Johns Hopkins, 1973

MD, Johns Hopkins, 1976

MPH, Johns Hopkins, 1981


Main Interests

Our laboratory is studying how genetics and the environment conspire to cause diseases, including cancer, aging, and neuropsychiatric illness. Early work from our group involved the discovery of altered DNA methylation in cancer, as well as common epigenetic (methylation and imprinting) variants in the population that may be responsible for a significant population-attributable risk of cancer. Over the last few years, our laboratory has pioneered the field of epigenomics, i.e. epigenetics at a genome-scale level, founding the first NIH-supported NIH epigenome center in the country, and developing many novel tools for molecular and statistical analysis, and applying them to stem cell biology, cancer, metabolic disease, and neuropsychiatric disease. We are also studying changes between identical twins in space, comparing samples from Scott Kelly in the International Space Station to his identical twin Mark on Earth, to assess longitudinal changes in these very different environments.

We are also pursuing a novel model of genetically driven stochastic epigenetic plasticity in evolution and development, which may help to explain Lamarckian-like inheritance, reconciling epigenetics with Darwinism. Using the honeybee as a model to test these ideas, we has uncovered the first evidence for methylation-mediated reversible behavior in a whole organism. This same model has led to the recent discovery of genetic variants increasing methylation variability in autoimmune disease, which helps to explain the relationship between genetics, epigenetics, the environment and disease. Finally, cancer appears to be driven in large measure by epigenetic plasticity. We have been developing mathematical predictive tools for the epigenome and are applying them to human diseases such as cancer, in order to develop new diagnostic methods and treatments.

Research Interests

Educational Activities

  • Preceptor, Human Genetics
  • Preceptor, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Preceptor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Preceptor, Biomedical Engineering


Center of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) at Johns Hopkins
Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics

Recognition and Leadership Roles

American Society for Clinical Investigation, 1990
Association of American Physicians, 1995
ISI Most Cited Authors List, 2000
MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health, 2001
Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa), Uppsala University, Sweden, 2007
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, 2007
Wallenberg Fellow, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 2009
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009
Doctor of Medicine (Honoris Causa), Karolinska Institute, Sweden, 2010
NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, 2011
Feodor Lynen Medal, 2011
Baruch Spinoza Chair, University of Amsterdam, 2013
National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council, NIH, 2014-present
Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa), University of Amsterdam, 2016

Selected Recent Publications

Selected Publications

Hansen, KD Timp W, Corrada Bravo H, Sabunciyan S, Langmead B, McDonald OG, Wen B, Wu H, Liu Y, Diep D, Briem E, Zhang K, Irizarry RA, Feinberg AP. Increased variation in epigenetic domains across cancer typesNature Genetics 43:768-775, 2011.

Herb B, Wolschin F, Aryee M, Langmead B, Amdam G, Feinberg AP. Reversible switching between epigenetic states in honeybee behavioral subcasts.Nature Neuroscience 15:1371-1373, 2012.

Liu Y, Aryee JM, Padyukov L, Fallin MD, Hesselberg E, Runarsson A, Reinius L, Acevedo N, Taub M, Ronninger M, Shchetynsky K, Scheynius A, Kere J, Alfredsson L, Klareskog L, Ekstrom TJ, Feinberg AP. Epigenome-wide association data implicates DNA methylation as an intermediary of genetic risk in rheumatoid arthritisNature Biotechnology 31:142-147, 2013.

Multhaup ML, Seldin MM, Jaffe AE, Lei X, Kirchner H, Mondal P, Li Y, Rodriguez V, Drong A, Hussain M, Lindgren C, McCarthy M, Näslund E, Zierath JR, Wong GW, Feinberg AP. Mouse-human experimental epigenetic analysis unmasks dietary targets and genetic liability for diabetic phenotypes.Cell Metabolism, 21:138-149, 2015.

Pujadas E, Feinberg AP. A role for regulated noise in the epigenetic landscape of development and diseaseCell, 148:1123-1131, 2012.

Timp W, Feinberg AP. Cancer as a dysregulated epigenome allowing cellular growth advantage at the expense of the hostNature Reviews Cancer13:497-510, 2013.

Publication Links

Google scholar link:

Pubmed link:

Contact Information

Andrew P. Feinberg, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Center for Epigenetics
855 N. Wolfe St.
Rangos 570
Baltimore, MD 21205

Administrative Contact

Nicole Erby
Sr. Administrative Coordinator