Yale Bulletin and Calendar

June 15, 2001Volume 29, Number 32Two-Week Issue

Shirleen Roeder

Geneticist Shirleen Roeder
named Eugene Higgins Professor

Shirleen Roeder, newly named as the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, is at the forefront of scientific research in molecular genetics.

She was part of a Yale team that recently fully characterized the function of the yeast gene. The genome project, the largest of its kind to date, helps further an understanding of how human cells work and may provide insight into human diseases.

Roeder, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, specializes in meiotic chromosome behavior and cell cycle checkpoints. In the laboratory, she is studying a special type of cell division, called meiosis, by isolating and characterizing yeast mutants defective in the process. Her investigations of the molecular mechanisms of meiotic chromosome behavior have been supported by the HHMI and the United States Public Health Service.

Roeder has written nearly 100 scientific articles about her research. These have appeared in such journals as Cell, Science, Genetics and Molecular Cell Biology. She has been invited to speak in seminars at universities throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Japan. She is frequently asked to speak about her work in molecular genetics at national conferences and professional meetings.

A native of Canada, Roeder earned her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and briefly taught high school science before undertaking graduate study at the University of Toronto, where she earned her Ph.D. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University before joining the Yale faculty in 1981 as an assistant professor. She earned tenure as an associate professor in 1988 and was appointed a full professor in 1990.

In 1984, Roeder was one of 25 young biologists in the country who were given a five-year Presidential Young Investigator Award by the National Science Foundation. The award was for her work investigating the molecular mechanisms of genetic recombination. She also has been awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada Fellowship for her research at Cornell and a Junior Faculty Fellowship from Yale. She was one of 70 scientists in the nation -- and among four from Yale -- selected in 1997 to become an HHMI investigator.

The Yale scientist was secretary of the Genetics Society of America 1992-94 and chaired the Gordon Research Conference on Meiosis in 1996. She has been a member of the Biomedical Sciences Study Section and the Genetics Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. She has served on the editorial boards of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Genetics.

Roeder is a member of the Genetics Society of America, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Cell Biology.


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