Ben Laufer

Ben Laufer

Senior Scientist



Ben Laufer is a Senior Scientist in the group of Brad Friedman in the department of OMNI Bioinformatics at Genentech. His research examines the interface between gene regulation and neuroscience. He is also the editor for EpiGenie. Outside of the science world he enjoys biking, swimming, and photography.

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

    University of California Davis, USA

  • PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology, 2016

    Western University, Canada

  • BSc (Hons) in Genetics, 2010

    Western University, Canada


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).


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).

Recent Publications

(2021). Epigenetic Impacts of Early Life Stress in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Shape the Neurodevelopmental Continuum. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience.


(2021). Stable DNMT3L overexpression in SH-SY5Y neurons recreates a facet of the genome-wide Down syndrome DNA methylation signature. Epigenetics and Chromatin.

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(2020). Cord blood DNA methylome in newborns later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder reflects early dysregulation of neurodevelopmental and X-linked genes. Genome Medicine.


(2020). Low-pass whole genome bisulfite sequencing of neonatal dried blood spots identifies a role for RUNX1 in down syndrome DNA methylation profiles. Human Molecular Genetics.

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(2019). Whole genome bisulfite sequencing of Down syndrome brain reveals regional DNA hypermethylation and novel disorder insights. Epigenetics.

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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 selected and edited headlines for a team of writers that I managed. This link will take you to the >250 articles I have written for EpiGenie.


What is Epigenetics?


OHSU and Swift Low-pass WGBS Webinar