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Author Spotlight

William J. Pavan
Current Affiliation: National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Research Area: Genetic diseases, pigmentation, genomics, neural crest cell development, melanocytes

"This is a very exciting time to be doing research. We have the ability to use nextgen sequencing interrogate genomes at an extraordinary rate, we can manipulate genomes using new editing tools, and we can unravel the biology with powerful imaging base approaches. The combinations of the approaches will provide great insights in biological process and disease states."

Dr. Pavan received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts. He began doing large-animal field work as an undergraduate UMass Amherst and at that point he couldn’t see himself dedicating his professional life to laboratory research. This changed when he earned his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore upon completion of a combined biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics program. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in mouse molecular genetics at Princeton University.

At Princeton, Dr. Pavan investigated the biological basis underlying coat color alterations in mice. Dr. Pavan's enthusiasm for the field of pigment genetics has grown over time. His lab has developed and adopted many cutting-edge techniques that include genetic screening, gene expression analysis and comparative genome sequencing of multiple species. Such techniques enable him to explore the genetic network of pigmentation, and to hunt for DNA elements that regulate particular genes.

Dr. Pavan arrived at National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 1993 and, since that time, has developed mouse models to understand molecular mechanisms and defects that are relevant to a range of human developmental disorders.

In the course of his career, Dr. Pavan has been guided by keen observation, whether in the natural environment or enhanced by the dynamic new tools of genomes. His efforts have yielded new insights about a category of disorders that still hold many mysteries, but every discovery along the way gives him a sense of satisfaction.

Articles by William J. Pavan

Networks and pathways in pigmentation, health, and disease
Focus Article
WIREs WIREs Systems Biology and Medicine
Published Online: Nov 13 2009
DOI: 10.1002/wsbm.20
Abstract Full article on Wiley Online Library:   HTML | PDF
The etiology and molecular genetics of human pigmentation disorders
Focus Article
WIREs WIREs Developmental Biology
Published Online: May 17 2012
DOI: 10.1002/wdev.72
Abstract Full article on Wiley Online Library:   HTML | PDF

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