The nuclear lamina (NL) is a thin meshwork of filaments that lines the inner nuclear membrane, thereby providing a platform for chromatin binding and supporting genome organization. Genomic regions contacting the NL are lamina associated domains (LADs), which contain thousands of genes that are lowly transcribed, and enriched for repressive histone modifications. LADs are dynamic structures that shift spatial positioning in accordance with cell-type specific gene expression changes during differentiation and development. Furthermore, recent studies have linked the disruption of LADs and alterations in the epigenome with the onset of diseases such as cancer. Here we focus on the role of LADs and the NL in gene regulation during development and cancer.