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Meilin Fernandez Garcia, PhD

Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Meilin Fernandez Garcia, PhD


Meilin Fernandez Garcia is a biochemist and molecular biologist specializing in Functional Genomics and Genetic Engineering in Neuropsychiatric Research. Raised in Puerto Rico, and a first-gen student she left to become a biochemist at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently a postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, she researches the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders using human stem cells derived neurons and multiplexed CRISPR technologies. Outside of the lab she is an amateur Asian-cuisine home cook, and novice film enthusiast at the intersection of science and film. Her work has been screened at multiple venues including Imagine Science Film Festival, Hot Docs, Harvard History of Science Festival and the Brooklyn Film Festival.


1. Fernandez Garcia, M., Powell, S.K., LaMarca, E.A., Fernando, M.B., Cohen, S., Fang, G., Akbarian, S., Brennand, K.J., (2021). Chapter 30: Functional genomics of psychiatric disease risk using genome engineering. In J. Peedicayil & D. Avramopoulus, (Eds.) Epigenetics in Psychiatry (Second Edition),Academic Press, 711-734.

2. Jin, R. , Klasfeld, S., Zhu, Y., Fernandez Garcia, M., Xiao, J., Han, SK., Konkol, A., Wagner D., (2021). LEAFY is a pioneer transcription factor and licenses cell reprogramming to floral fate. Nat Commun. ,12, 626. 626 (2021).

3. Dobrindt,K., Hoagland, D.A., Seah, C., Kassim, B., O’Shea,C., Iskhakova, M., Fernando, MB., Deans, M., Powell, S., Javidfar, B., Murphy, A., Peter, C., Moeller, R., Fernandez Garcia, M., Kimura, M., Iwasawa,K., Crary, J., Kotton, DN., Takebe, T., Huckins, LM., tenOever, BT., Akbarian, S., Brennand, KJ., (2021). Common genetic variation in humans impacts in vitro susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Stem Cell Reports, 16 , p 505-518.

4. Webb, B.D.,Evans, A., Naidich T.P., Bird L.B., Parikh, S., Fernandez Garcia, M., Henderson, L.B., Millan F., Si, Y., Brennand, K.J.,Hung, P., Rucker, J.C., Wheeler, P.G., Schadt, E.E..(2021). Haploinsufficiency of POU4F1 causes an ataxia syndrome with hypotonia and intention tremor. Human Mutation,Jun;42(6):685-693.

5. Fernandez Garcia, M., Moore, C.D., Schulz, K.N., Alberto, O., Donague, G., Harrison, M.M., Zhu, H., Zaret, K.S. (2019). Structural Features of Transcription Factors Associating with Nucleosome Binding. Mol. Cell, 75, p 921–932.

6. McDaniel, S.L., Gibson, T.J., Schulz, K.N., Fernandez Garcia, M., Nevil, M., Jain, S.U, Lewis, P.W., Zaret, K.S., Harrison, M.M. (2019). Continued activity of the pioneer factor Zelda is required to drive zygotic genome activation. Mol Cell. 74, p 1-11.

7. Xiao,J., Jin,R., Yu, X., Shen, Max., Wagner, JD., Pai, A., Song, C., Zhuang, M., Klasfeld, S., He, C., Santos, AM., Helliwell, C., Pruneda-Paz, J., Kay, SA., Lin, L., Cui, S., Fernandez Garcia, M., Clarenz, O., et al., (2017). Cis and trans determinants of epigenetic Cis and trans determinants of epigenetic silencing by polycomb repressive complex 2 in Arabidopsis. Nat. Gen, Vol. 49, 01.10.2017, p. 1546-1552.

8. Soufi, A., Fernandez Garcia, M., Jaroszewicz, A., Pellegrini, M., Zaret, K.S. (2015). Pioneer Transcription Factors Target Partial DNA motifs on Nucleosomes to Initiate Reprogramming. Cell, 161, 3, p. 555–568.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of Pennsylvania, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (2019)
  • BS
    University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Chemistry (2012)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Award (NIGMS)NIH-NIGMS2022
Amgen Foundation-Biotechnology Mentorship Initiative to Develop Scientists Award 11Amgen Foundation2022
Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) AwardNIH2022
Biological Sciences Training Program (BSTP) in Psychiatry T32 AwardYale University2022
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)-F31 FellowshipNational Institute of General Medical Sciences- NIH-NIGMS2022