Functional Genomics Platform

Stacks of petri dishes with cell cultures
About FGP

The Functional Genomics Platform at Whitehead Institute provides advice and reagents to researchers interested in implementing large-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screens in mammalian cells.

We use the CRISPR/Cas9 system to identify modulators of different cellular phenotypes, such as viability and the output of reporter systems.

The FGP is directed by Heather Keys, Ph.D.

Jonathan Weissman, Ph.D. is the faculty advisor for the FGP.

On this website, you can find more details about our work, our team, contact information, and protocols.


Our Work

We assist researchers at all stages of the screening process, including planning, implementation and validation of genetic screens:

  • Experimental design
  • sgRNA library design and propagation
  • Virus preparation for optimization and screening
  • Vector design
  • Sequencing library preparation
  • Data analysis
  • Follow-up strategies

  • *Li Y, *Muffat J, *Javed AO, *Keys HR, Lungjangwa T, Bosch I, Khan M, Virgilio MC, Gehrke L, Sabatini DM, Jaenisch R (2019) Genome-wide CRISPR screen for Zika virus resistance in human neural cells. PNAS . 2019 Apr 24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1900867116
    *equal contribution
  • Tsvetkov P, Detappe A, Cai K, Keys HR, Brune Z, Ying W, Thiru P, Reidy M, Kugener G, Rossen J, Kocak M, Kory N, Tsherniak A, Santagata S, Whitesell L, Ghobrial IM, Markley JL, Lindquist S, Golub T (2019) Mitochondrial metabolism promotes adaptation to proteotoxic stress. Nature Chemical Biology. 2019 Jul; 15(7):681-689. doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0291-9
  • Kory N, Wyant GA, Prakash G, Uit de Bos J, Bottanelli F, Pacold ME, Chan SH, Lweis CA, Wang T, Keys HR, Guo YE, Sabatini DM (2018) SFXN1 is a mitochondrial serine transporter required for one-carbon metabolism. Science 362(6416). 2018 Nov 16. doi: 10.1126/science.aat9528
  • Kanarek N, Keys HR, Cantor JR, Lewis CA, Chan SH, Kunchok T, Abu-Remaileh M, Freinkman E, Schweitzer LD, Sabatini DM (2018) Histidine catabolism is a major determinant of methotrexate sensitivity. Nature 559:632-636. 2018 July 11. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0316-7



Head and shoulders shot of Heather Keys

Heather Keys, Ph.D.

Head and shoulders shot of Stephanie Esonwune

Stephanie Esonwune
Technical Assistant I

Keya Viswanathan

Keya Viswanathan
Technical Assistant I


Olena Fedoniuk, Whitehead Institute Metabolite Profiling Core Facility
Mehreen Khan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Maria Virgilio, University of Michigan PhD Program

Former and Current Masters Students

Manuel Mastel, Heidelberg University
Nicole Eischer, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krem



    Here you can find basic protocols for screening and related experiments. More coming!

    Any questions? Contact us

    • Titer Test
    • Genomic DNA Maxiprep
    • Bead Cleanup and dsDNA Quantification

    • Coming Soon!: Transduction Test for New Cell Lines
    • Coming Soon!: Large-scale Lentiviral Preparation
    • Coming Soon!: Small-scale Lentiviral Preparation
    • Coming Soon!: Genomic DNA Miniprep
    • Coming Soon!: Sequencing Library Preparation
    • Coming Soon!: Transduction Conditions for Cancer Cell Lines
    • Coming Soon!: Materials Reference List


    Join Us

    We are looking for motivated people to work with us.

    If you are a motivated Masters student searching for an exciting internship experience, contact us!


    Contact Us

    Please contact Heather Keys, Ph.D. by email with all questions.

    We are located at the Whitehead Institute, 455 Main Street, Cambridge, MA.