Patricia J. Wittkopp
Fellow: Awarded 2019
Field of Study: Biology
Competition: US & Canada
Patricia Wittkopp is a biologist working at the interface of developmental, evolutionary, and computational biology. She earned her B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1997, studying interactions among genes; her PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 2002, studying the evolution of development; and was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University studying how gene expression evolves. In 2005, she returned to her alma matter, the University of Michigan, as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Wittkopp is now the Sally L. Allen and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as well as Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan. She is also affiliated with the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Center for Statistical Genetics, and Program in the Biomedical Sciences.
In collaboration with members of her laboratory, Professor Wittkopp studies the genetic basis of trait differences within and between species, with an emphasis on the regulation of gene expression. Both fruit flies and baker’s yeast are used as model systems in this work, integrating methods from molecular and developmental biology, population and quantitative genetics, and genomics and bioinformatics. Professor Wittkopp was named a “Scientist to Watch” by The Scientist magazine, an Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow, a March of Dimes Starter Scholar, and, most recently, a recipient of the Society for the Study of Molecular Biology’s Margaret Dayhoff Mid-Career Award. Professor Wittkopp is also a passionate teacher and mentor whose efforts have been recognized by multiple awards at the University of Michigan and membership on Education Committees for the Genetics Society of America and the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Currently, Professor Wittkopp serves as a Senior Editor at the journal eLife and Associate Editor at the journals Molecular Biology and Evolution and GENETICS. She has presented her research in more than 150 invited talks in 18 different countries.