Vivian Irish designated as the Eaton Professor

Photo of Professor Vivian Irish.
Vivian Irish (photo courtesy of Yale School of Medicine)

Vivian Irish, newly designated as the Eaton Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, focuses her research on plant development, plant genetics, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms. 

In her laboratory, Irish aims to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control patterning processes in plant development, with a focus on characterizing organogenesis and growth in the Arabidopsis flower. She and her team are also interested in the extent to which these pathways are conserved or have diversified in different flowering plant species.

Irish earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. She conducted postdoctoral research as a Jane Coffin Childs fellow at the University of Cambridge and as a National Science Foundation fellow at Yale. She began her academic career as an assistant professor of biology at Yale in 1991. Prior to her new appointment, she was a full professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Since 2016, Irish has served as the chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

The Yale professor has published more than 90 research articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is the editor of the publications Developmental Biology and Evolution and Development. Irish has reviewed research articles for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Energy, as well as for organizations in France, Israel, and the United Kingdom. In 2011, she taught at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in Lyon, France as a visiting professor.

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