Allon Klein

Allon Klein

Professor of Systems Biology

Harvard Medical School
200 Longwood Ave, Warren Alpert 128A
Boston, MA 02115


Lab Size: Between 5 and 10


Dr. Klein is fascinated by the question of how stem cells choose between alternative fates in developing and adult tissues. Today, one can strip differentiated cells of their fate by inducing pluripotency, yet it remains exceedingly difficult to target differentiating stem cells to a specific fate. His work focuses on germ layer specification in the South African claw-toed frog, Xenopus Laevis, which is a powerful system for studying cell fate choice and differentiation in a "native" biological context (rather than in cell culture). He is currently studying collective fluctuations of groups of genes, measured at the single-cell level, to test several possible hypotheses for how different fates are selected.  Dr. Klein's research combines (1) traditional experimental methods used to study developmental perturbations, (2) novel assays for gene expression in hundreds of individual cells, (3) statistical tools for analysing gene expression fluctuations, and (4) theoretical tools for characterizing stochastic cell fate decisions.


Lim, X., Tan SH, Koh WL, Chau RM, Yan KS, Kuo CJ, van Amerongen R, Klein A.M., Nusse R.. (2013). Interfollicular Epidermal Stem Cells Self-Renew via Autocrine Wnt Signaling. Science. 342(6163), 1226-30 PMID:24311688

Doupe, D.P. , Klein, A.M., Simons, B.D. & Jones, P.H. (2012).A Single Progenitor Population Switches Behavior to Maintain and Repair Esophageal Epithelium. Science .337(6098),1091-3 PMID:22821983 PMCID:PMC3527005

Klein, A.M. & Simons, B.D. (2011). Universal patterns of stem cell fate in cycling adult tissues. Development. Aug;138(15):3103
PMID: 21750026.

Waks, Z., Klien, A.M. & Silver, P.A.. (2011). Cell-to-cell variability of alternative RNA splicing. Molecular Systems Biology. 5;7:506. PMID: 21734645. PMCID: PMC3159976.

Klein, A.M., Nikolaidou-Neokosmidou, V., Doupé, D.P., Jones, P.H. & Simons, B.D.. (2011). Patterning as a signature of human epidermal stem cell regulation. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface. PMID:21632613