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SU2C Scientific Research Teams

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Shelley L. Berger, PhD

Scientific Research Team:
Shelley L. Berger, PhD

Shelley L. Berger, PhD

Shelley L. Berger, PhD, is a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and Daniel S. Och University Professor, in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Department Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine, and in the Department of Biology, School of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as Director of the Epigenetics Program at the Perelman School. Berger earned her BS and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan; was a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and was previously Hilary Koprowski Endowed Professor at Wistar Institute. Her work advanced understanding of eukaryotic gene regulation by helping to unify the fields of transcription and chromatin regulation. The major focus of her research is to define the mechanisms by which epigenetic modifications affect chromatin structure (the combination of DNA and proteins found in chromosomes) and gene expression in normal and diseased states, in particular, during chromatin remodeling in spermatogenesis, senescence and aging, and underlying organismal-level behavior. Her work has also elucidated modifications of the tumor suppressor p53 and whether its alterations are central to the start of cancer. Berger has organized numerous international meetings on chromatin; has served as Senior Editor of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology; and participates on advisory committees for several research institutions and chromatin-focused pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. She has served on international committees to establish nomenclature for histone-modifying enzymes, and to create the NIH-sponsored Human Epigenome Project. She is also lead investigator on an NIH research award on Epigenetics and Aging and a recipient of the Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging.