Shelley L. Berger, Ph.D.

Shelley L. Berger is a “Penn Integrates Knowledge” (PIK) Professor and Daniel S. Och University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as Director of the Epigenetics Program at the Perelman School of Medicine. 

Dr. Berger earned her B.S. and Ph.D. 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 in Philadelphia.  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 the dramatic chromatin remodeling in spermatogenesis, senescence and aging, and underlying organismal-level behavior.  Her work has also elucidated modifications of the tumor suppressor p53 and investigates whether their alterations are central to oncogenesis. 

Dr. 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.  Dr. Berger is a recipient of the Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging and a Collaborative Research Award from Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. 

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