Elizabeth R. Gavis
Damon B. Pfeiffer Professor in the Life Sciences
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Molecular Biology
Elizabeth (Liz) Gavis is the Damon B. Pfeiffer Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and an Associated Faculty of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University. Liz became hooked on research during a summer internship at the Carnegie Institute for Embryology, just after graduating from high school. She majored in Biology at Yale University, continuing her work during subsequent summers at the Carnegie Institute and at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. She also greatly enjoyed her senior thesis research in the Biology Department at Yale. These experiences led her to enter the MSTP and the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University Medical School, where she earned MD and PhD degrees. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, Liz joined the Princeton faculty in 1994.
Liz's research lies at the interface of development and RNA biology. Work in her lab currently focuses on understanding post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanisms necessary for: 1) the development of the animal body plan; 2) the production of the germ cells that produce the next generation; 3) and the generation of exquisitely branched sensory neurons. In addition to mentoring students and postdocs in the lab, Liz serves as Director of the Department of Molecular Biology undergraduate program. She teaches one of the largest courses at Princeton – "Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology" – as well as a graduate level genetics course. Liz helped found the joint Princeton/Rutgers University MD/PhD program and served as its first Princeton director. She has also served as President of the Drosophila Board of Directors and as member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Developmental Biology. Liz is an Associate Editor for the journal G3 and a member of several editorial boards. She has worked to promote the advancement of women in science, including participation in mentorship programs at Princeton, Hunter College, and The College of New Jersey.
Areas of Research
Development, Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry
B.S. Biology, Yale University
Ph.D. Biochemistry, Stanford University
M.D., Stanford University Medical School