Joost Gribnau Group

Joost Gribnau

Oncode Investigator at Erasmus MC

My Research

Joost Gribnau obtained his PhD in 1999 at the Department of Cell Biology, Erasmus MC, where he studied globin gene regulation and chromatin structure. He then moved as a post-doc to the Whitehead Institute, MIT, USA, where he worked from 2000-2004 with Professor Rudolf Jaenisch and developed his interests in genomic imprinting and X chromosome inactivation. He returned to the Erasmus MC where he became a group leader. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Epigenetics, and in 2014 became full professor and head of the department of Developmental Biology.

His laboratory has made major contributions to the fields of X chromosome inactivation and stem cell biology. Major breakthroughs were the discovery that initiation of X chromosome inactivation is mediated by stochastic processes, and identification of activators and inhibitors of X chromosome inactivation. The current focus is on the effects of gene dosage imbalance on health and disease and the development of novel technologies to study epigenetic modifications genome wide.


  • HFSP Career development award
  • EMBO member
  • Descartes-Huygens prize

Key publications

  1. Barakat, T. S., Loos, F., van Staveren, S., Myronova, E., Ghazvini, M., Grootegoed, J. A., & Gribnau, J. (2014). The trans-activator RNF12 and cis-acting elements effectuate X chromosome inactivation independent of X-pairing. Molecular cell, 53(6), 965-978.
  2. Boers, R., Boers, J., de Hoon, B., Kockx, C., Ozgur, Z., Molijn, A., ... & Gribnau, J. (2018). Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling using the methylation-dependent restriction enzyme LpnPI. Genome research, 28(1), 88-99.
  3. Gontan, C., Achame, E. M., Demmers, J., Barakat, T. S., Rentmeester, E., van IJcken, W., ... & Gribnau, J. (2012). RNF12 initiates X-chromosome inactivation by targeting REX1 for degradation. Nature, 485(7398), 386.
  4. Jonkers, I., Barakat, T. S., Achame, E. M., Monkhorst, K., Kenter, A., Rentmeester, E., ... & Gribnau, J. (2009). RNF12 is an X-Encoded dose-dependent activator of X chromosome inactivation. Cell, 139(5), 999-1011.
  5. Monkhorst, K., Jonkers, I., Rentmeester, E., Grosveld, F., & Gribnau, J. (2008). X inactivation counting and choice is a stochastic process: evidence for involvement of an X-linked activator. Cell, 132(3), 410-421.
Contact Information
Joost Gribnau

Joost Gribnau

Oncode Investigator

Oncode Investigator

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