Robert I. Williams Term Professor of Biology
Doris Wagner, professor of biology, is a leader in the fields of plant biology, chromatin modification, and epigenetics. Wagner’s research focuses on understanding at the molecular level the complex changes that occur when an organism switches developmental programs. Specifically, she and her team investigate the vital transition from vegetative to reproductive development in the plant model system Arabidopsis thaliana. Her work has revealed how environmental and developmental cues are integrated to modulate the activity of select master regulator proteins, and how this subsequently directs chromatin reprogramming to enable establishment of new cell identities.
Wagner is the recipient of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, including serving as the lead Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation Research Collaborative Network Initiative “EPIC: Epigenomics of Plants, International Consortium.” She is committed to science education, undergraduate research, and innovation in teaching, participating annually in the Biomedical Research Academy for high school students and leading several workshops at Penn’s Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition to her service as Graduate Chair of Biology, she has served on the Penn Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee, the Penn Women’s Biomedical Society, the Penn Epigenetics Program Executive Board, the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute Executive Board, the University Genomic Initiative Committee, and the University Graduate Council.