Vivian Irish, PhD

Eaton Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Departments & Organizations

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development | Plant Molecular Biology

Center for RNA Science and Medicine

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Irish obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University, where she characterized the role of the DPP/TGFbeta signaling pathway in specifying dorsal-ventral polarity in the Drosophila embryo. After postdoctoral work investigating anterior-posterior patterning in Drosophila, she turned her attention to exploring patterning processes in the Arabidopsis flower. For a number of years she has focused on characterizing the genes and pathways regulating organogenesis and growth in the flower. She has also explored the extent to which these pathways are conserved across different flowering plant species. Using molecular, genetic and modeling approaches, her current research is centered on understanding how these processes are integrated in forming a petal, a simple laminar organ of few cell types, but whose form varies widely in different plant species.

Education & Training

PhD Harvard University, Cell and Developmental Biology (1986)
BA Wesleyan University, Biology (1980)
Postdoctoral Fellow Yale University
Postdoctoral Fellow Cambridge University

Honors & Recognition

  • PresidentSociety for Developmental Biology (2012)

  • Visiting ProfessorENS, Lyon, France (2011)

  • Junior Faculty FellowshipYale University (1993)

  • Postdoctoral FellowshipNational Science Foundation (1989)

  • Postdoctoral FellowshipJane Coffin Childs Fund (1986)

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