Job Dekker is a molecular biologist and geneticist widely known for his studies of the mechanisms of chromosome folding. He is particularly recognized for his development of chromosome conformation capture methodologies that are used to determine the spatial organization of complete genomes. His studies have led to detailed insights into how interphase and mitotic chromosomes are folded, and how cells fold, unfold and refold their chromosomes as cells proceed through the cell cycle. Dekker was born in Soest, the Netherlands, and received his undergraduate and graduate training at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular biology with Nancy Kleckner at Harvard University. He joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in 2003. He is currently Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, the Joseph J. Byrne Chair in Biomedical Research, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2015. He is an EMBO Associate Member, a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, and an International Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Dekker is interested in understanding the folding of genomes in three dimensions, and the molecular machines that fold chromosomes. Dekker combines molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, genomics, computational approaches, and polymer physics to study how genomes fold and function in a range of organisms. His work has led to insights into the formation of chromatin loops involved in long-range gene regulation, the organization of the interphase nucleus, the structure of metaphase chromosomes, and general folding principles of genomes. His group pioneered the use of genome folding data for assembling genome sequences. Recently, Dekker has started exploring chromosome folding mechanisms in organisms with unusual genome organizations, such as dinoflagellates.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics

Secondary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology