Benoit G. Bruneau, PhD

Associate Director and Senior Investigator

William H. Younger, Jr. Investigator

Phone: (415) 734-2708
Fax: (415) 355-0960
Fewer scientific details, please
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Other Professional Titles

Investigator, Roddenberry Center for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at Gladstone

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco

Administrative Assistant

Elana Lewis
(415) 734-2705

More about Dr. Bruneau

Dr. Bruneau’s lab focuses on the pre- and postnatal formation of the heart, including how different components of the heart develop and are assembled into a functional organ—in order to understand the basis of congenital and inherited heart disease.

Before joining Gladstone, Dr. Bruneau did cardiovascular research at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bruneau has won numerous awards, including Ontario’s Premier Research Excellence Award and the Lawrence J. and Florence A. DeGeorge Charitable Trust/American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.

Originally from Canada, Dr. Bruneau earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a doctorate in physiology at the University of Ottawa. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at Harvard University Medical School in the laboratory of Jonathan and Christine Seidman.


More scientific details, please

Other Professional Titles

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco

Administrative Assistant

Elana Lewis
(415) 734-2705

Areas of Investigation

Our laboratory aims to understand how a heart becomes a heart: what cell lineage decisions take place to direct cardiac differentiation and what morphogenetic and patterning processes occur to assemble all of the heart's components into a functional organ. In both cases, we are primarily interested in how genes are regulated in this process. We study transcription factors, which bind DNA to turn on or off genes, and chromatin remodeling and modification factors, epigenetic regulators that are essential for gene regulation. We are particularly interested in how these factors control cardiac cell lineage decisions. This encompasses early development and differentiation, as well as postnatal physiology.

Using this approach we are deciphering the blueprint of the heart, by systematically investigating the function of transcriptional and epigenetic regulators across the entire genome, and understanding how networks of genes are deployed for important patterning and morphogenetic decisions in heart development. Understanding these networks will help understand the basis for congenital heart disease, and will also be key to develop approaches to creating new heart cells, perhaps opening up new avenues for cardiac regenerative medicine.

Current Lab Focus

  • What are the roles of chromatin remodeling and modifying complexes in heart development and cardiac lineage determination?
  • How do chromatin remodeling complexes and epigenetic regulators function to activate specific cardiac genes and what is the importance of this level of regulation for heart development and function?
  • How do disease-related transcription factors interact with chromatin modifying complexes to regulate cardiac morphogenesis, and how does this interaction go wrong in heart disease?
  • How are important morphogenetic processes such as cardiac septation regulated at the cellular level?

Joined Gladstone


Why Gladstone?

I came to Gladstone because it is the best place to do biomedical research in the world, period. The combination of world-class science in a winning environment made Gladstone an easy choice.

Key Achievements

  • Created mouse models of congenital heart defects commonly found in children, including septal defects (“holes in the heart”) and conduction defects, or arrhythmias, by manipulating cardiac regulatory genes.
  • Uncovered a revolutionary role for Tbx5 in the evolution of patterning of the heart.
  • Begun to understand the roles played in heart development by a heart-restricted chromatin remodeling complex subunit, Baf60c, which illustrates the novel concept of tissue-specific remodeling complexes.
  • Identified a minimal "cocktail" of factors that can induce cardiac differentiation from mouse mesoderm.
  • Deciphered the epigenetic blueprint of cardiac differentiation.


University of Ottawa (BSc), Biology (1990)
University of Ottawa (PhD), Physiology (1996)


American Heart Association (Western Consortium) grant review panel
American Heart Association Western Consortium Study Group 3A, Co-chair
iPierian, Inc., Scientific Advisory Board Member
Silver Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Scientific Advisor

Editorial Board, Developmental Dynamics
Editorial Board, Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics
Editorial Board, Circulation Research (Consulting Editor)
Editorial Board, Developmental Biology


  • Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator award (2001)
  • Premier’s Research Excellence Award (Ontario) (2003)
  • Lawrence J. and Florence A. DeGeorge Charitable Trust/American Heart Association Established Investigator Award (2010) – (2015)
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association (2012)
Syndicate publications

Featured Publications

Benoit G. Bruneau, PhDDelgado-Olguín P, Huang Y, Li X, Christodoulou D, Seidman CE, Seidman JG, Tarakhovsky A, Bruneau BG. Epigenetic repression of cardiac progenitor gene expression by Ezh2 is required for postnatal cardiac homeostasis. Nat Genet. 2012; 44(3):343-7. View in: PubMed
Benoit G. Bruneau, PhDZhang SS, Kim KH, Rosen A, Smyth JW, Sakuma R, Delgado-Olguín P, Davis M, Chi NC, Puviindran V, Gaborit N, Sukonnik T, Wylie JN, Brand-Arzamendi K, Farman GP, Kim J, Rose RA, Marsden PA, Zhu Y, Zhou YQ, Miquerol L, Henkelman RM, Stainier DY, Shaw RM, Hui CC, Bruneau BG, Backx PH. Iroquois homeobox gene 3 establishes fast conduction in the cardiac His-Purkinje network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 16; 108(33):13576-81. View in: PubMed