Leonid Mirny received his PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University. After a few years as a Junior Fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows, he was appointed to the MIT Faculty in 2001, joining the MIT Health Sciences and Technology Division and the Department of Physics. Prof. Mirny teaches classes in Statistical Physics in Biology, Quantitative Genomics, and a freshman seminar in Quantitative Biology. He is working to understand the human genome in 3D with his team at MIT in collaboration with the Dekker Lab at UMass Medical School. Using new data uncovered via Chromosome Conformation Capture (Hi-C) technology and computer simulations, the collaborators explore how the genome is organized inside a cell.
In 2015, Mirny became a co-director of the new Center for 3D Structure and Physics of the Genome at UMass Medical School and MIT, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s 4D Nucleome Program. The program, initiated by Director of the NIH, Francis Collins, is a focused, interdisciplinary directive, funding more than 25 labs to map not only the 3D architecture of the human genome, but also how this organization changes over time—the fourth dimension.
Professor Mirny’s research focuses on computational structural and system biology. His multidisciplinary approach combines first-principle physics with the analysis of biological systems such as genes, proteins, and metabolic pathways. His efforts in computational structural biology involve the development of novel computational tools to analyze and predict structures of proteins, their complexes, and protein-DNA interactions. In these studies, Prof. Mirny seeks to identify amino acids that determine specific DNA recognition, to test these predictions in future experiments, and to find methods to engineer proteins with novel biological functions.
Prof. Mirny is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an Associate Faculty of the Broad Institute, and an Associate Member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.