Public Release:  Epigenetics studies take root in plants

MIT biology professor named Pew's 'Biomedical Researcher of the Month'

Pew Health Group

WHAT: Biologist Mary Gehring, Ph.D. is The Pew Charitable Trusts' featured biomedical researcher of the month for her creative research on epigenetics in plants. Using the weed Arabidopsis as a model for human embryonic development, Gehring's lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research aims to understand the environmental factors governing which genes are turned on and off in seeds. Her findings have the potential to shed light on diseases associated with chemical modifications to chromosomes, including cancer.

Gehring's story is part of a "Biomedical Researcher of the Month" series recently launched by Pew. Since 1985, Pew's biomedical programs have provided funding to more than 500 early-career scientists who show outstanding promise in science with the potential to advance human health. The scholars' exceptional research has earned them Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, MacArthur Genius Awards and other distinctions--including a 2013 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award for Gehring.

WHO: Experts are available for interviews regarding Dr. Morris' research and the program:

  • Mary Gehring, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

  • Anita Pepper, Ph.D., director of the Pew Programs in the Biomedical Sciences

WHERE: Visit http://www.pewhealth.org/other-resource/Learning-How-Genetic-Seeds-Are-Sown-85899461360 to read the full profile story.

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CONTACT: Chelsea Toledo

For information regarding Pew's biomedical programs, please visit http://www.pewhealth.org/biomedical-research.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. http://www.pewtrusts.org

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