Rebecca D. Burdine, PhD  |  Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University

Rebecca Burdine joined the faculty at Princeton in 2003. Her lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms that control left-right patterning and asymmetric organ morphogenesis. The lab also explores other developmental process involving cilia, including kidney structure and skeletal formation. She was named the 44th Mallinckrodt Scholar for the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation, and received a Scientist Development Career Award from the American Heart Association in 2003. She is on the Editorial board for Cell Reports, and regularly serves on grant review panels for the NIH and NSF. At Princeton, she teaches the undergraduate course Mol348 Cell and Developmental Biology with Professor Devenport, and team teaches the graduate course Mol506 Cell and Developmental Biology.

Dr. Burdine graduated summa cum laude from Western Kentucky University, majoring in Recombinant Gene Technology with a minor in Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University for her thesis work with Dr. Michael Stern that included identifying and characterizing C. elegans egl-17, one of the first FGFs identified in invertebrates. She determined that EGL-17 provided a directional cue for migrating sex myoblasts, providing insight into the role of FGF signaling in cell migration. Dr. Burdine carried out her postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Alexander F. Schier (Harvard) when he was at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at New York University. Using zebrafish as a model system, she focused on Nodal signaling and the mechanisms underlying vertebrate left-right patterning. Her work helped to ascertain that Nodal signaling is not required to generate organ asymmetry, but instead acts to consistently bias the asymmetric placement of these same organs. How Nodal biases organ asymmetry is a major focus of her current research.

Dr. Burdine is also parent to a child with Angelman Syndrome. Dr. Burdine currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer for the Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation, and is a founding member and current Chief Scientific Officer for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics. She also served on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

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