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Lynn Cooley, PhD

Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; C. N. H. Long Professor of Genetics and Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Years active at Yale: 2001-present

Dr. Cooley is being recognized for her seminal research into understanding the biology of germ cells, which are the only cells in our bodies that can form eggs or sperm to transmit genetic information to the next generation. She is also Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Cooley, the C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics and Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, was the Director of the Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences before becoming the dean. She is a member of the Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering and a fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Cooley is also the recipient of a Pew Scholar Award from the Pew Charitable Trusts, in 1991.

Dr. Cooley’s current research is focused on intercellular bridges, called ring canals that connect cells as they form eggs or sperm. Ring canals are present in germ cells throughout the animal kingdom, from insects to humans. This conservation over millions of years of evolution suggests ring canals provide an important advantage to the process of germ cell development. Dr. Cooley’s lab uses Drosophila (fruit flies) to investigate ring canal function. The Cooley lab has documented extensive sharing of cellular components through ring canals in both males and females. Her lab is now investigating how ring canals form in the first place, how they are stabilized and the kinds of information shared through ring canals.