Ken Paigen, Ph.D.
ProfessorThe Jackson Laboratory
Dr. Paigen received his AB from Johns Hopkins and PhD from CalTech. He eventually became Chair of the Dept. of Molecular Biology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Chair of Genetics at UC Berkeley. His early research career focused on the biochemistry and molecular biology of gene regulation, alternating between the developmental and hormonal control of lysosomal enzymes in mice and the control of the lac and gal operons in E. coli. That work was interrupted by his 13 yr tenure (1989-2002) as Director/CEO of The Jackson Laboratory. He then returned to active research at JAX, working on the mechanisms of genetic recombination in mice, where in collaboration with Dr Petko Petkov, he discovered and characterized the role of PRDM9, the zinc finger, histone methyltransferase that determines the location of recombination hotspots in humans and mice. In turn, that work on the chromatin modifying activity of PRDM9 led to genetic studies of the broader regulatory mechanisms controlling the location and intensity of epigenomic features. Outside of the lab, Dr. Paigen’s passions are his family, the Paigens have five children and 12 grandchildren, and sailing the coast of Maine on his sloop Danica.