Ben Laufer

Ben Laufer

Principal Scientist



Ben Laufer is a researcher with a focus on gene expression and neuroscience. He is a Principal Scientist in the Neuroinformatics Group in the Department of OMNI Bioinformatics at Genentech. He is also the editor for EpiGenie. Outside of the science world he enjoys hiking, swimming, and photography.

  • Bioinformatics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Neuroscience
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021

    University of California Davis, USA

  • PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology, 2016

    Western University, Canada

  • BSc (Hons) in Genetics, 2010

    Western University, Canada


Final postdoctoral fellowship publication.


First contribution to a publication from Genentech.


Penultimate postdoctoral fellowship publication.


Click on each project to learn more.
Placental Footprints of Neurodevelopment
Cell-free fetal DNA and placenta contain a subset of differentially methylated regions that reflect brain DNA methylation profiles.
Genetic Impacts on the Epigenome
Over-expression of DNMT3L and RUNX1 contributes to regional DNA hypermethylation and DNA hypomethylation in Down syndrome brain and blood, respectively.
Environmental Impacts on the Epigenome
DNA hypermethylation of the clustered protocadherins is a conserved signature in adult brains from a mouse model of prenatal alcohol exposure and in buccal swabs from human children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Recent Publications

(2022). Multi-omic brain and behavioral correlates of cell-free fetal DNA methylation in macaque maternal obesity models. Nature Communications.

PDF Cite Project DOI

(2022). Disease-associated oligodendrocyte responses across neurodegenerative diseases. Cell Reports.


(2022). Elevated exposures to persistent endocrine disrupting compounds impact the sperm methylome in regions associated with autism spectrum disorder. Frontiers in Genetics.

Cite DOI

(2022). Placenta and fetal brain share a neurodevelopmental disorder DNA methylation profile in a mouse model of prenatal PCB exposure. Cell Reports.

PDF Cite Project DOI

(2022). Placental methylome reveals a 22q13.33 brain regulatory gene locus associated with autism. Genome Biology.

PDF Cite Project DOI


DMRichR is an R package and executable for the preprocessing, statistical analysis, and visualization of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and global methylation levels from CpG count matrices (Bismark cytosine reports).
CpG_Me is a whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) pipeline for the alignment and QC of DNA methylation that goes from from raw reads (FastQ) to a CpG count matrix (Bismark cytosine reports).

Science Communication

EpiGenie was founded in 2007 as the first dedicated Epigenetics news source. I joined in 2013. Initially, my role was that of a technical writer. My role then matured to be almost entirely editorial, where I select and edit headlines.


What is Epigenetics?


OHSU and Swift Low-pass WGBS Webinar