Recent research has made great strides in uncovering the mechanisms by which the T helper 1 (Th1) cell gene expression program is established. In particular, studies examining the transcription factors T-bet, STAT1, and STAT4 have elucidated their roles in regulating Th1 signature genes, including . Ifng, and have started to address their contributions to the epigenetic states in Th1 cells. Additionally, new findings have provided information about how the co-expression of T helper cell lineage-defining transcription factors impacts the phenotype of the cell. In this review, we will briefly highlight the research from the last few years examining the epigenetic states in T helper cells and the mechanisms by which they are established. We will then discuss how this new information contributes to our understanding of the flexibility of T helper cell genetic programs. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.