Rajan Jain leads a research team of students, physicians and scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine with the overarching mission to understand how cellular identity is achieved and maintained in health and altered in disease. Prior to starting his independent program, Rajan earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MD from NYU School of Medicine, and completed internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Penn Medicine.
The Jain lab employs molecular, genetic, imaging and biochemical approaches to decipher the rules that govern three-dimensional organization of the genome. His team has shown that spatial positioning of the genome in the nucleus is essential for cardiac progenitor cell lineage restriction and contributes to cardiac disease. They have extended these studies to discover molecular mechanisms that choreograph genome folding to regulate fate determination. The team is unraveling how these processes regulate stemness in progenitor cells across a multitude of tissues, including the lung, brain and heart. These findings provide a mechanistic framework to understand how human mutations in epigenetic factors may cause disease, supporting the laboratory’s goal to reveal how three-dimensional genome organization safeguards cellular identity. The impact of the team’s work has been recognized by the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, Allen Foundation, and NIH Office of the Director (New Innovator Award and Transformative Research Award). Beyond the lab, Rajan is actively involved in local and national efforts to identify, recruit, train and promote the next generation of physician-scientists. He is clinically active as a general cardiologist and primarily cares for patients in the CCU. Rajan was the recipient of the ASCI's Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research in 2021.