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Meet Mobile DNA's Editors-in-Chief

Marlene Belfort

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Marlene Belfort is a distinguished professor at the University of Albany where her research focuses on the structure, function, regulation and evolution of mobile introns and inteins, along with their applications in biotechnology and infectious disease. Professor Belfort received her undergraduate degree from the University of Cape Town and her PhD from the University of California at Irvine. In addition to serving on the NIH Council of Councils, she has chaired the Pioneer Award and Early Independence Award study sections. She has received awards for mentoring, including the Alice Evans Award for contributions toward fostering the advancement of women, and written extensively about creating a lab environment that supports research and raising a family.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Cédric Feschotte

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Cédric Feschotte grew up in the Southwest of France and obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toulouse in 1996.  He received his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris during which he characterized mosquito transposable elements with Dr. Claude Mouchès. From 2000 to 2004, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Susan Wessler at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA where he explored the origin and amplification mechanism of 'MITE' transposons in plant genomes. In 2004, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009. In 2012, he joined the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. Since July 2017 he is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  His laboratory uses an integrative approach to study the evolution and biological impact of various forms of mobile DNA, with an emphasis on the genomes of vertebrates.

Follow him on Twitter: @CedricFeschotte

Haig Kazazian

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Dr. Haig Kazazian attended Dartmouth Medical School, and obtained his MD degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He trained in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in genetics at Hopkins with Barton Childs, MD, and in molecular biology at the NIH with Harvey Itano, MD. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1969, becoming a full professor and chief of the Pediatric Genetics Unit in 1977, and director of the Center for Medical Genetics at Johns Hopkins in 1988. In 1994, he was named Chair of the Department of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Since 2010, he has been a Professor in the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kazazian is known for discovering much of the normal variation in a cluster of genes involved in production of human hemoglobin. Over the past 30 years his work has led to groundbreaking discoveries about how mobile DNA contributes to human disease and genome evolution and has received a number of honors for his research, most notably the 2008 William Allan Award, the top honor of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Henry Levin

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Dr. Henry Levin is the head of the Section of Eukaryotic Transposable Elements in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH. He received his PhD from University of California, Berkeley and then was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University with Jef Boeke. Dr. Levin’s studies on the LTR retrotransposons in fission yeast identified mechanistic details of particle formation, reverse transcription, and integration. This research led to innovative methods of DNA sequencing that revealed integration behavior of transposable elements. With these methods the laboratory demonstrated that transposable element integration in fission yeast occurs primarily at promoters resulting in altered gene expression. These sequencing methods were also applied to studies of HIV-1 and provided new insight into the integration behavior of HIV-1. In addition, Dr. Levin develops novel technologies that rely on transposable elements to characterize genetic function genome-wide. Dr. Levin has organized several conferences and symposia on transposon biology and retrovirus replication.

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