Yannick Jacob was born in Quebec, Canada. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at Université de Montréal specializing in biochemistry. His M.Sc. research was performed with B. Franz Lang on the evolution of tmRNAs and their roles in regulating protein translation in bacteria.
Yannick then moved to the U.S. to pursue a doctoral degree in Plant Genetics at Indiana University (Bloomington). There, he worked in the laboratory of Scott D. Michaels on the molecular genetics of flowering time in Arabidopsis and the epigenetic regulation of DNA replication. His doctoral work led to the discovery of novel chromatin-modifying proteins regulating DNA replication in plants.
After his graduate studies, Yannick worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York in the laboratory of Rob Martienssen. During this time, he discovered that single amino acid differences between histone variants could regulate the activity of chromatin-modifying proteins. This finding revealed a new layer of epigenetic regulation present in all eukaryotes. At the CSHL, Yannick was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Associate and a recipient of post-doctoral fellowships from Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRQS).
As of July 2015, Yannick is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. His research is focused on elucidating how chromatin regulates diverse processes, including DNA replication and genome engineering.
My scientific interests are centered on understanding how epigenetic mechanisms affect genome expression and replication in animals and plants. I am particularly interested in studying the roles played by histone variants and their post-translational marks in regulating DNA replication and long-term epigenetic stability in non-dividing cells. My laboratory is also investigating how chromatin can be modulated to enhance the efficiency of genome engineering technologies like CRISPR in plants.