Think Hard,
Move Fast.

We work at the intersection of bioengineering, genomics, and neuroscience to engineer life and develop precision genetic therapies.


Patrick D. Hsu, Ph.D.

Patrick is a Principal Investigator and Salk Helmsley Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. Working with Feng Zhang and Xiaowei Zhuang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, he contributed to the early development of CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering technologies for efficient and precise application in eukaryotic cells.

As a lead scientist at Editas Medicine, Patrick also directed preclinical discovery projects to translate these tools for treating human genetic disorders. He was recognized for these contributions in 2015 by Forbes' 30 Under 30.

At the Salk, the Hsu lab develops diverse approaches from synthetic biology, genomics, and neuroscience for the high-throughput interrogation and control of transcriptional and epigenetic cell states, particularly for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease and complex genetic disorders.

Silvana Konermann, Ph.D.

Silvana is a neuroscientist and bioengineer. She received her B.S. in Biology from ETH Zürich and Ph.D. from MIT in Neuroscience, where she was a Hubert Schömaker Fellow. Her graduate work focused on developing new methods for manipulating brain gene expression using light and genome-scale transcriptional activation, for which she was awarded the 2015 Harold Weintraub Graduate Student Award.

Peter Lotfy

Peter received his B.S. in Physiology & Neuroscience and M.S. in Biology from UCSD. He completed his thesis in the lab of Larry Goldstein, where his work focused on understanding the mechanisms of tau protein turnover in human neurons. He also developed a CRISPR-based system for conducting genome-wide genetic screens in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cell types.

Jennifer Oki

Jennifer received her B.A. in Plant Biology at the University of California, Riverside and M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California. Her previous work focused on using differentiated embryonic stem cells as a model to study hippocampal development and regulation in embryogenesis.


Rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies over the past decade have transformed our ability to read the genome, epigenome, and transcriptome of all living organisms, illuminating the genetic building blocks and dynamics of biological systems. However, establishing causal linkages between genetic changes to cellular function requires the ability to control or modulate endogenous genetic sequences or epigenetic states.

We are developing and applying novel technologies that make it possible to systematically reverse-engineer cellular processes through rapid and precise perturbations. Our group draws upon diverse approaches from synthetic biology, genomics, and neuroscience for the high-throughput interrogation and control of transcriptional and epigenetic cell states. The goal is to uncover the biological mechanisms behind neurodegenerative disease and complex genetic disorders, as well as to develop tools and therapeutic strategies for their treatment.

Our work is supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the NIH Director's Early Independence Award.



Hsu Lab @ Salk
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Molecular & Cell Biology Laboratory (MCBL-P)
10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Join Us

Are you curious about the biological mechanisms underlying health and disease? Are you interested in creating and applying tools to engineer and repair life?

We are always looking for passionate, collaborative, and energetic scientists to work with us, whether you're an postdoc, grad student, undergrad, or research associate. If you're a molecular or computational biologist, neuroscientist, bioengineer, or really creative scientist of any variety, let's chat!

If you're interested in joining or visiting the lab, please email with (1) a CV, (2) a short summary of your research background and interests, and (3) a list of 3 references (for postdoctoral candidates).