Gaelen Hess

Position title: Assistant Professor


Phone: (608)890-3018

Biomolecular Chemistry
High-throughput functional genomics to investigate DNA repair and pathogenic effectors

WIMR West Wedge 2768
Ph.D. Harvard University, Postdoctoral Research Stanford University
Lab Website
Research Fields
Cell biology, Computational, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, Genomics and Proteomics

Research Description: 
With the emerging appreciation of precision medicine, the link of genetic and epigenetic perturbations to their phenotypes is vital. With the advent of CRISPR-mediated genome editing and high-throughput sequencing, we can both systematically perturb the genome and quantitatively measure their phenotypic effects. In the Hess lab, we are interested in both the development and application of these and other functional genomics technologies to address critical biological questions and improve human health. Using these cutting-edge genomics tools, we focus on three areas: (1) investigating mechanisms of drug resistance and response, (2) regulation of mammalian DNA repair, and (3) studying effectors secreted by bacterial pathogens.

Representative Publications:
Search Google Scholar for more publications by Gaelen Hess 

  • Tycko J, DelRosso N, Hess GT, Aradhana, Banerjee A, Mukund A, Van MV, Ego BK, Yao D, Spees K, Suzuki P, Marinov GK, Kundaje A, Bassik MC, Bintu L. High-throughput discovery and characterization of human transcriptional effectors. Cell 183: 2020-2035.e16 (2020).
  • Morgens DW, Chan C, Kane AJ, Weir NR, Li A, Dubreuil MM, Tsui CK, Hess GT, Lavertu A, Han K, Polyakov N, Handy EL, Alabi P, Dombroski A, Yao D, Altman RB, Sello JK, Denic V, and Bassik MC. Retro-2 protects cells from ricin toxicity by inhibiting ASNA1-mediated ER targeting and insertion of tail-anchored proteins. eLife. 8: e48434 (2019).
  • Tycko J, Wainberg M, Marinov GK, Ursu O, Hess GT, Ego BK, Aradhana, Li A, Truong A, Trevino AE, Spees K, Yao D, Kaplow IM, Greenside PG, Morgens DW, Phanstiel DH, Snyder MP, Bintu L, Greenleaf WJ, Kundaje A, and Bassik MC. Mitigation of off-target toxicity in CRISPR-Cas9screens for essential non-coding elements. Nature Communications. 10: 1-14 (2019).
  • Hess, GT, Tycko J, Yao D, and Bassik MC. Methods and applications of CRISPR-mediated base editing in eukaryotic genomes. Molecular Cell. 68: 26-43 (2017). • Morgens DW*, Wainberg M*, Boyle EA, Ursu O, Araya CL, Tsui K, Haney MS, Hess GT, Han K, Jeng EE, Li A, Snyder MP, Greenleaf WJ, Kundaje A, and Bassik MC. Off-target behavior of truncated guides in genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screens. Nature Communications. 8: 1-8 (2017).
  • Han K*, Jeng EE*, Hess GT, Morgens DW, Li A, and Bassik MC. Synergistic drug combinations for cancer identified in a CRISPR screen for pairwise genetic interactions. Nature Biotechnology. 35: 463-474 (2017).
  • Hess GT, Fresard L, Han K, Lee CH, Li A, Cimprich KA, Montgomery SB, and Bassik, MC. Directed evolution using dCas9-targeted somatic hypermutation machinery. Nature Methods. 13: 1036-1042 (2016).