• Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • M.S., University of the Pacific
  • B.S., Sonoma State University


  • General Biology for Majors
  • Forensic Science Internship
  • Forensic Pharmacology
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Forensic Biotechnology

Research Interests

  • Epigenetics and genome organization
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Forensic science


Jennifer C. Harr, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the SET Forensic Science Program at St. Mary’s University. She joined the University in October 2019.

Harr studies how epigenetics and genome organization determine, influence and maintain a differentiated cell state. Using genomics, genetics, microscopy and biochemistry, the Harr laboratory asks how disruption of genome organization influences phenotypes using the model organism C. elegans. We ask how the genome is influenced in disease models and how it is effected by environmental toxicology. Harr also studies how epigenetics applies to the forensic sciences. The study of epigenetics as applied to forensic science has the potential to enrich investigative possibilities and the breadth of information available for use in the criminal justice system.

Harr received her bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University in Molecular and Cell Biology followed by a master of science degree in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Science from the University of the Pacific. She then received a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She was a postdoctoral Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland.


Wong X., Hoskins V.E., Melendez-Perez A.J., Harr J.C., Gordon M., Reddy K.L. (2021) “Lamin C is required to establish genome organization after mitosis”. Genome Biol. Nov 15;22(1):305. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02516-7.

Askjaer, P. and Harr, J.C. (2020) Genetic approaches to revealing the principles of nuclear architecture Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, vol 67

Harr, J.C., Schmid, C.D., Muñoz-Jiménez, C., Romero-Bueno, R., Kalck V., Gonzalez-Sandoval A., Hauer M.H., Padeken, J., Askjaer, P., Mattout, A. and Gasser, S.M. (2020) Loss of a heterochromatin anchor rescues altered genome organization and muscle defects of an Emery Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy-linked mutation in lamin. Genes and Development, doi: 10.1101/gad.332213.119

Harr, J.C., Gonzalez-Sandoval, A., and Gasser, S.M. (2016) Histones and histone modifications in perinuclear chromatin anchoring: from yeast to man. EMBO Rep., vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 139–155.

Harr, J.C. and Reddy KL (2015). Tagged Chromosomal Insertion Site System: A Method to Study Lamina-Associated Chromatin. In: Methods in Enzymology.; 2015. doi:10.1016/bs.mie.2015.09.028.

Harr, J.C., Luperchio, T.R., Wong X., Cohen, E., Wheelan, S., Reddy, K.L. (2015) Directed targeting of chromatin to the nuclear lamina is mediated by chromatin state and A-type lamins. The Journal of Cell Biology, 208(1) 33-52. *This work is highlighted in a biobytes podcast, a Johns Hopkins SOM press release and in a Research Highlight (Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 16, 68 (2015) doi:10.1038/nrm3948)

Harr J.C., and Reddy K.L.(2013) Live Cell Imaging of Nuclear Dynamics. In: Lennarz W.J. and Lane M.D. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry, vol. 2, pp. 749-755. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.

Zhu, J.-H., Chen, C.-L., Flavahan, S., Harr, J., Su, B., & Flavahan, N. A. (2011) Cyclic stretch stimulates vascular smooth muscle cell alignment by redox-dependent activation of Notch3. American journal of physiology Heart and circulatory physiology, 300(5), H1770–H1780.

Harr J., Coyne L, Chandry A, Halliwell RF. (2008) An Electrophysiological Study of the Impact of Environmental Enrichment on Xenopus Laevis Oocytes. Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, vol. 57(3)

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