Laura Landweber, Princeton University, USA

Laura Landweber is a Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She received her A.B. from Princeton in 1989 and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1993. Before returning to Princeton as faculty in 1994, she was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. She has authored over 130 publications in molecular and evolutionary biology and edited 3 books, in areas ranging from genetics and evolution to DNA-based computers. She has served on various panels, working groups, and advisory committees for the NSF, NIH, NHGRI, and NASA and co-chaired the NHGRI Comparative Genome Evolution Working Group from 2003-2007. She is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of Biology Direct (biology-direct.com), a journal experimenting with open, signed peer review. She is on the editorial board of Genome Biology and Evolution and Eukaryotic Cell and served as Councilor for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution from 2007-2009. Recent awards include a Guggenheim fellowship (2012) and a Blavatnik award for young scientists (2008), and she was elected a  Fellow of AAAS for probing the diversity of genetic systems in microbial eukaryotes, including scrambled genes, RNA editing, variant genetic codes, and comparative genomics. Her work investigates the origin of novel genetic systems. Recent discoveries include the ability of small and long non-coding RNA molecules to transmit heritable information across generations, bypassing the information encoded in DNA.

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