Howard Chang is a physician-scientist recognized for his contributions to genome science. He is best known for his insightful discoveries of long noncoding RNAs and technologies unveiling the noncoding genome. Dr. Chang earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, Ph.D. in Biology from MIT, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed Dermatology residency and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. Chang joined the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2004, where he is now Professor of Dermatology and Genetics. He is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Chang’s honors include the NAS Award for Molecular Biology, Outstanding Investigator Award of the National Cancer Institute, Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests

Howard Chang's research addresses how large sets of genes are turned on or off together, which is important in normal development, cancer, and aging. He seeks to understand the dark matter of the genome: RNAs and DNA elements that control the ultimate output of cell fates. Chang discovered a new class of genes, termed long noncoding RNAs, can control gene activity throughout the genome, illuminating a new layer of biological regulation. He invented ATAC-seq and other new methods for defining DNA regulatory elements genome-wide and in single cells. The long-term goal of his research is to decipher the regulatory information in the genome to benefit human health.

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Primary Section

Section 41: Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics