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Curriculum Vitae

Michael Aaron White, Ph.D


Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, The Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


Postdoctoral fellowship (2006-2012), Washington University School of Medicine, laboratory of Dr. Barak Cohen

Ph.D. in Biochemistry (2006) University of Rochester School of Medicine, laboratory of Dr. Mark Dumont

B.A. in Music Performance and Pedagogy, Minor in Chemistry (2000) Brigham Young University (I have no religious affiliation.)



Contributing writer, Pacific Standard (2013-present)

Co-founder of science blog The Finch and Pea

Selected Media Writing & Appearances

M White, “A Genome-Sized Media Failure”The Huffington Post, Sep. 13 2012

Skeptically Speaking, “Current Controversies”, Oct 5 2012

“Popular Science”St. Louis Magazine profile, Aug 2014

Wisconsin Public Radio, The Kathleen Dunn Show, Oct 7, 2015

Interview on NIH budget cuts with St. Louis Public Radio, Apr 27, 2017



** Authors contributed equally

White MA**, Kwasnieski JC**, Myers CA, Shen SQ, Corbo JC, Cohen BA. A Simple Grammar Defines Activating and Repressing cis-Regulatory Elements in Photoreceptors. Cell Reports Oct 25;17(5):1247-1254 (2016). Link

Savic, D , Roberts, BS, Carleton, JB, Partridge, EC, White, MA, Cohen, BA, Cooper, GM, Gertz, J, Myers, RM. Promoter-distal RNA polymerase II binding discriminates active from inactive transcription factor binding sites. Genome Research Dec;25(12):1791-800 (2015). Link

White, MA. Understanding how cis-regulatory function is encoded in DNA sequence using massively parallel reporter assays and designed sequences. Genomics 106:165-170 (2015). Link

White, MA, Myers, CA, Corbo, JC, and Cohen, BA. Massively parallel in vivo enhancer assay reveals that highly local features determine the cis-regulatory function of ChIP-seq peaks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110: 11952-11957 (2013). PMC3718143  Link

White, MA, Parker, DS, Barolo, S, and Cohen, BA. “A model of spatially restricted transcription in opposing gradients of activators and repressors.” Molecular Systems Biology 8:614 (2012). PMC3472688  Link

– Article recommended by Faculty of 1000

Parker, DS**White, MA**, Ramos AI, Cohen BA, Barolo S. The cis-regulatory logic of Hedgehog gradient responses: key roles for Gli binding affinity, competition, and cooperativity. Science Signaling 4, ra38 (2011). PMC3152249  Link

          – See accompanying Perspective: Whitington T, Jolma A, Taipale J.  Beyond the   balance of activator and repressor. Science Signaling 4, pe29 (2011). Link

White MA, Riles L, Cohen BA. A systematic screen for transcriptional regulators of the yeast cell cycle. Genetics 181, 435-446 (2009). PMC2644938  Link

White MA, Clark K, Grayhack EJ, Dumont ME. Characteristics affecting expression and solubilization of yeast membrane proteins. Journal of Molecular Biology 365, 621-636 (2007). PMC1839945 Link

Gelperin DM**White MA**, Wilkinson ML**, Kon Y, Kung LA, Wise KJ, Lopez-Hoyo N, Jiang L, Piccirillo S, Yu H, Gerstein M, Dumont ME, Phyizicky EM, Snyder M, Grayhack EJ. Biochemical and genetic analysis of the yeast proteome with a movable ORF collection. Genes & Development 19, 2816-2826 (2005). PMC1315389 Link



Invited Speaker: Testing cis-regulatory grammars with massively parallel reporter assays, Banbury Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, NY (July 2016)

Invited Speaker: Thermodynamic models of Hedgehog cis-regulatory logic, Drosophila Genetics Conference, Chicago, IL (March 2015)

Invited Seminar Speaker: Why Don’t Transcription Factors Get Lost? Dept. of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Pittsburgh (March 2014)

Invited Seminar Speaker: Why Don’t Transcription Factors Get Lost? Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN (December 2013)

Speaker: Massively parallel in vivo enhancer assay reveals that highly local features determine the cis-regulatory potential of ChIP-seq peaks, RECOMB/ISCB Conference on Regulatory Genomics, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (November 2013)

Speaker: CRE-seq: a massively parallel in vivo reporter assay, ENCODE Consortium Meeting, Stanford University, CA (May, 2013)

Invited Seminar Speaker: The Right Place at the Right Time: Regulating Gene Expression in Division and Development, Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, NC (December 2011)

Speaker (short talk): The cis-Regulatory Logic of Hedgehog Response, Gordon Research Conference on Cellular Systems Biology, Davidson College, NC (July 2011)