Keynote Speaker


Dr. Laura Landweber, PhD

Dr. Laura Landweber is a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Biological Sciences, and Systems Biology, in the Colleges of Physicians & Surgeons and Arts & Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center. She was faculty at Princeton University from 1994-2016, and a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, where she received her PhD in 1993.

Her awards and accomplishments include over 150 publications in molecular and evolutionary biology and she has edited three books in areas ranging from genetics and evolution to biological computation. She was President (2017) of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE), and her previous awards include a Guggenheim fellowship (2012) and a Blavatnik award for young scientists (2008). She was also elected a Fellow of AAAS for probing the diversity of genetic systems in microbial eukaryotes, including scrambled genes, RNA editing, variant genetic codes, and comparative genomics.

Dr. Landweber’s lab investigates the origin of novel genetic systems and complex genome architectures using the ciliate Oxytricha as a model. Recent discoveries include the ability of small and long non-coding RNA molecules to program genome organization across generations, bypassing the information encoded in DNA.