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 recieved 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

Molecular Coupling of Histone Crotonylation and Active Transcription by AF9 YEATS Domain.
Li Y, Sabari BR, Panchenko T, Wen H, Zhao D, Guan H, Wan L, Huang H, Tang Z, Zhao Y, Roeder RG, Shi X, Allis CD, Li H, Mol. Cell 2016 04 62 2 181-193
Intracellular crotonyl-CoA stimulates transcription through p300-catalyzed histone crotonylation.
Sabari BR, Tang Z, Huang H, Yong-Gonzalez V, Molina H, Kong HE, Dai L, Shimada M, Cross JR, Zhao Y, Roeder RG, Allis CD, Mol. Cell 2015 04 58 2 203-15
SnapShot: histone modifications.
Huang H, Sabari BR, Garcia BA, Allis CD, Zhao Y, Cell 2014 Oct 159 2 458-458.e1
Lysine 2-hydroxyisobutyrylation is a widely distributed active histone mark.
Dai L, Peng C, Montellier E, Lu Z, Chen Y, Ishii H, Debernardi A, Buchou T, Rousseaux S, Jin F, Sabari BR, Deng Z, Allis CD, Ren B, Khochbin S, Zhao Y, Nat. Chem. Biol. 2014 May 10 5 365-70

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