Ho-Sung Rhee

Assistant Professor



CSB Appointment


Research Areas

Animal Biology, Bioinformatics / Computational Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics / Genomics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Systems Biology


Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University 2011
M.Sc. Seoul National University 2006
B.Sc. Sogang University 2004

Titles and Honors

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2017
Connaught Scholar 2020
Member, CIHR College of Reviewers

Primary Undergraduate Department

Biology, UTM

Graduate Programs

Cell & Systems Biology
Developmental Biology

Research Description

How are genes expressed from DNA to make a neuron? How does misregulation of neuronal genes cause neurological diseases? We aim to understand how a neuron is specified and maintained during mammalian development. The acquisition of cell fate is driven by a cell-type-specific gene expression program activated by DNA-binding proteins such as transcription factors. Nearly every gene is packaged into chromatin, which is a complex of DNA and protein in the nucleus of the cell. The recruitment of transcription factors to their target genes is accompanied by dynamic chromatin regulation. We study mammalian gene regulation for more efficient stem cell differentiation methods to make specific types of neurons. To understand these processes, we use stem cell differentiation and utilize molecular, cellular, and epigenetics approaches. By using our cutting-edge approaches, we are studying how neuronal transcription factors control gene expression during neural development. Our expertise in these comprehensive approaches provides greater detail and insight into epigenetic mechanisms of cell type-specific gene expression programs in the mammalian central nervous system. We are now exploring whether this integration of multiple approaches is instrumental in identifying predictive rules for the progression and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 905-569-4931
Office: DV3045
Lab: DV1083

Mailing Address

Department of Biology
University of Toronto
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6

Visit lab’s website



Crosstalk between chromatin, chromosomes, and epigenetics

Ialongo A, Yeh S, Rhee HS
2023, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 10.1139/bcb-2023-0165

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The ChIP-Exo Method to Identify Genomic Locations of DNA-Binding Proteins at Near Single Base-Pair Resolution

Yeh S, Rhee HS
2022, Methods in Molecular Biology, 10.1007/978-1-0716-2847-8_4

Extended intergenic DNA contributes to neuron-specific expression of neighboring genes in the mammalian nervous system

Jaura R, Yeh S, Montanera KN, Ialongo A, Anwar Z, Lu Y, Puwakdandawa K, Rhee HS
2022, Nature Communications, 10.1038/s41467-022-30192-z

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ChIP-exo: A method to study chromatin structure and organization at near-nucleotide resolution

Montanera KN, Anwar Z, Shibin SM, Rhee HS
2020, , 10.1016/B978-0-12-819414-0.00016-1

High-Resolution Mapping of Protein-DNA Interactions in Mouse Stem Cell-Derived Neurons using Chromatin Immunoprecipitation-Exonuclease (ChIP-Exo)

Montanera KN, Rhee HS
2020, Journal of Visualized Experiments, 10.3791/61124

ChIP-exo: A method to study chromatin structure and organization at near-nucleotide resolution

Montanera KN, Anwar Z, Shibin SM, Rhee HS
2020, , 10.1016/B978-0-12-819414-0.00016-1

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Expression of Terminal Effector Genes in Mammalian Neurons Is Maintained by a Dynamic Relay of Transient Enhancers

Rhee HS, Closser M, Guo Y, Bashkirova EV, Tan GC, Gifford DK, Wichterle H
2016, Neuron, 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.11.037

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Subnucleosomal Structures and Nucleosome Asymmetry across a Genome

Rhee H, Bataille A, Zhang L, Pugh B
2014, Cell, 10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.054

A Comprehensive and High-Resolution Genome-wide Response of p53 to Stress

Chang G, Chen X, Park B, Rhee H, Li P, Han K, Mishra T, Chan-Salis K, Li Y, Hardison R, Wang Y, Pugh B
2014, Cell Reports, 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.030

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Kinetic Competition between Elongation Rate and Binding of NELF Controls Promoter-Proximal Pausing

Li J, Liu Y, Rhee H, Ghosh S, Bai L, Pugh B, Gilmour D
2013, Molecular Cell, 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.05.016

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Genome-wide structure and organization of eukaryotic pre-initiation complexes

Rhee HS, Pugh BF
2012, Nature, 10.1038/nature10799

ChIP‐exo Method for Identifying Genomic Location of DNA‐Binding Proteins with Near‐Single‐Nucleotide Accuracy

Rhee HS, Pugh BF
2012, Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, 10.1002/0471142727.mb2124s100

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Comprehensive Genome-wide Protein-DNA Interactions Detected at Single-Nucleotide Resolution

Rhee H, Pugh B
2011, Cell, 10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.013

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Interaction of Transcriptional Regulators with Specific Nucleosomes across the Saccharomyces Genome

Koerber RT, Rhee HS, Jiang C, Pugh BF
2009, Molecular Cell, 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.011

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Fatty acids, inhibitors for the DNA binding of c-Myc/Max dimer, suppress proliferation and induce apoptosis of differentiated HL-60 human leukemia cell

Jung KC, Park CH, Hwang YH, Rhee HS, Lee JH, Kim H, Yang CH
2005, Leukemia, 10.1038/sj.leu.2404022

Momordin I, an inhibitor of AP-1, suppressed osteoclastogenesis through inhibition of NF-κB and AP-1 and also reduced osteoclast activity and survival

Hwang YH, Lee JW, Hahm E, Jung KC, Lee JH, Park CH, Rhee HS, Ryu JM, Kim H, Yang C
2005, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.09.113

Negative regulation of β-catenin/Tcf signaling by naringenin in AGS gastric cancer cell

Lee JH, Park CH, Jung KC, Rhee HS, Yang CH
2005, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.07.146

Ionomycin downregulates β-catenin/Tcf signaling in colon cancer cell line

Park CH, Hahm ER, Lee JH, Jung KC, Rhee HS, Yang CH
2005, Carcinogenesis, 10.1093/carcin/bgi145

Determination of the dissociation constants for recombinant c-Myc, Max, and DNA complexes: The inhibitory effect of linoleic acid on the DNA-binding step

Jung KC, Rhee HS, Park CH, Yang C
2005, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.06.088

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