Ben Sabari is an Assistant Professor in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences and Department of Molecular Biology.

Dr. Sabari received his BS in Molecular Genetics at University of Rochester in 2010. He completed his PhD with David Allis in the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics at The Rockefeller University in 2016. As a graduate student Dr. Sabari studied the regulatory role of histone post-translation modifications in transcription and gene activation. Dr. Sabari was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Richard Young at the Whitehead Institute, where he investigated the role of phase-separated condensates in regulating gene activation. In 2020, Dr. Sabari joined the faculty at UT Southwestern.

The primary goal of the Sabari Lab is to understand how the machinery required for gene activation is organized within the nucleus in healthy and diseased cell states. The process of gene activation requires hundreds of unique proteins and RNAs that must engage with specific DNA elements to position RNA Polymerase at a gene for transcription. We study the role of dynamic compartments called biomolecular condensates in organizing the transcriptional machinery. We investigate how nuclear condensates form at specific genomic loci, how they function to compartmentalize biochemistry, and how they are dynamically regulated. The lab focuses on the roles of protein disorder, regulatory DNA element clustering, and active processes in the formation and function of nuclear condensates. We investigate these processes in various biological contexts including adipogenesis, stem cell differentiation, and cancer. We will employ an array of tools including live cell microscopy, in vitro biochemistry, proteomics and epigenomics.

The Sabari Lab website can be found at:

Research Interest

  • Biomolecular condensates
  • Chromatin
  • Gene Regulation
  • Nuclear Organization
  • Transcription


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Partitioning of cancer therapeutics in nuclear condensates.
Klein IA, Boija A, Afeyan LK, Hawken SW, Fan M, Dall'Agnese A, Oksuz O, Henninger JE, Shrinivas K, Sabari BR, Sagi I, Clark VE, Platt JM, Kar M, McCall PM, Zamudio AV, Manteiga JC, Coffey EL, Li CH, Hannett NM, Guo YE, Decker TM, Lee TI, Zhang T, Weng JK, Taatjes DJ, Chakraborty A, Sharp PA, Chang YT, Hyman AA, Gray NS, Young RA, Science 2020 06 368 6497 1386-1392
Mediator Condensates Localize Signaling Factors to Key Cell Identity Genes.
Zamudio AV, Dall'Agnese A, Henninger JE, Manteiga JC, Afeyan LK, Hannett NM, Coffey EL, Li CH, Oksuz O, Sabari BR, Boija A, Klein IA, Hawken SW, Spille JH, Decker TM, Cisse II, Abraham BJ, Lee TI, Taatjes DJ, Schuijers J, Young RA, Mol. Cell 2019 Dec 76 5 753-766.e6
Pol II phosphorylation regulates a switch between transcriptional and splicing condensates.
Guo YE, Manteiga JC, Henninger JE, Sabari BR, Dall'Agnese A, Hannett NM, Spille JH, Afeyan LK, Zamudio AV, Shrinivas K, Abraham BJ, Boija A, Decker TM, Rimel JK, Fant CB, Lee TI, Cisse II, Sharp PA, Taatjes DJ, Young RA, Nature 2019 08 572 7770 543-548
Transcription Factors Activate Genes through the Phase-Separation Capacity of Their Activation Domains.
Boija A, Klein IA, Sabari BR, Dall'Agnese A, Coffey EL, Zamudio AV, Li CH, Shrinivas K, Manteiga JC, Hannett NM, Abraham BJ, Afeyan LK, Guo YE, Rimel JK, Fant CB, Schuijers J, Lee TI, Taatjes DJ, Young RA, Cell 2018 12 175 7 1842-1855.e16
Metabolic regulation of gene expression through histone acylations.
Sabari BR, Zhang D, Allis CD, Zhao Y, Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2017 02 18 2 90-101
Lowered H3K27me3 and DNA hypomethylation define poorly prognostic pediatric posterior fossa ependymomas.
Bayliss J, Mukherjee P, Lu C, Jain SU, Chung C, Martinez D, Sabari B, Margol AS, Panwalkar P, Parolia A, Pekmezci M, McEachin RC, Cieslik M, Tamrazi B, Garcia BA, La Rocca G, Santi M, Lewis PW, Hawkins C, Melnick A, David Allis C, Thompson CB, Chinnaiyan AM, Judkins AR, Venneti S Sci Transl Med 2016 Nov 8 366 366ra161

Honors & Awards

  • Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas First Time Faculty Recruitment Award
  • Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow