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Edith Heard

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Edith Heard

Edith Heard
Born (1965-03-05) March 5, 1965
Residence Paris, France
Nationality British
Alma mater
Doctoral advisor Mike Fried
Notable awards

Professor Edith Heard, FRS, is a researcher in epigenetics. She is a Professor at the Collège de France, holding the Chair of Epigenetics and Cellular Memory, and since 2010 has been Director of the Genetics and Developmental Biology department at the Institut Curie in Paris, France.[3] Heard is noted for her studies of X chromosome inactivation.[4][5][6][7][8]


Heard graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1986. She completed her PhD degree in cancer research in 1990 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratory in London, UK.[9]

Academic Work

Heard's main areas of research include genetics, epigenetics and developmental biology,[2] in particular focussing on X-chromosome inactivation. X-chromosome inactivation was discovered by the British scientist Mary Lyon in 1961, and occurs when one of the two copies of the X chromosome present in female mammals is inactivated. Heard and her colleagues discovered that X chromosome inactivation happens not once, but twice, during development – first in all cells designated to building the placenta, then again in some cells sent off to build the embryo.[10][11]


In 2009 Heard received the Prix Jean Hamburger and the Grand Prix de la FRM in 2011. In 2013 she was made Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition for her discoveries in epigenetics.[1] Her nomination reads:


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  4. ^ Edith Heard's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
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