Shirley Tilghman is a molecular biologist whose work examines how genes control the development of mammalian embryos. She uses the mouse as a model organism to understand the transcriptional control of genes during development, and how genomic imprinting of genes affects embryonic growth.
She is also known for both her part in shaping the Human Genome Project — the international research effort that sequenced and analysed the billions of DNA base pairs that make up the human genome — as well as her support for and mentoring of other women in science.
Shirley has received many awards in recognition of her work, including a L’Oréal–UNESCO Award for Women in Science in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology in 2003 and the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2007. She was the first woman to hold the position of President of Princeton University, from 2001–2013, and currently serves on Google’s Board of Directors. She is a Fellow of the Order of Canada.
Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University
Trustee, Amherst College
Trustee, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace
Trustee, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
Trustee, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Trustee, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)
President Emerita, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School
Interests and expertise