Director of the Beckman Institute and Professor of Molecular Biology, California Institute of Technology
Dr. Barbara Wold is the Bren professor of molecular biology and director of the Beckman Institute at Caltech. She began working on genome structure and gene regulation during embryo development for her Ph.D. thesis at Caltech, and developed ways to assay cis-regulatory element function during postdoctoral work at Columbia. She established joined the biology faculty at Caltech in 1981 where she and her colleagues have focused on learning the architecture and logic of gene networks that drive cell state transitions. They study skeletal muscle development, degeneration and regeneration as a favored model system. Recent work emphasizes new ways to quantitatively map the inputs and outputs of gene networks in a genome-wide manner using “next generation” ultra-high throughput DNA sequencing, and applying these methods to muscle and brain networks.