Jeanne B. Lawrence, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurology and PediatricsUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
Jeanne Lawrence is an internationally recognized leader in nuclear genome organization and chromosome regulation by non-coding RNAs. She earlier developed FISH technology for single genes and nuclear RNAs, which made it possible to show cell-type organization of genes/RNAs in compartmentalized nuclear structure, as well as Xist RNA’s coating of the inactive X-chromosome. Her recent work translates breakthroughs in a basic epigenetic mechanism, female X-chromosome inactivation, into an innovative means to “silence” expression of one chromosome 21 in trisomic cells as shown in Down Syndrome induced pluripotent stem cells. This approach provides new ability to study human chromosome silencing and other new paths to advance Down Syndrome translational research on multiple fronts, potential development of the basic biology and drug development, and potential development of longer-term “chromosome therapy” strategies. Dr. Lawrence received multiple awards, from the American Society of Cell Biology, German Society for Biochemistry, National Center of Human Genome Research, Charles H. Hood Foundation and the John Merck Fund. She holds an MS in Human Genetics and a PhD in Developmental Biology, and is currently Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.