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I am pleased to share the University’s appointment of Dr. Claire Moore, Professor of Developmental, Molecular & Chemical Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine, as the Natalie V. Zucker Professor.

Dr. Moore joined the faculty of our School of Medicine in 1986, rising to the rank of professor in 1999. She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then worked with Dr. Philip Sharp at MIT, where she participated in the discovery of mRNA splicing, for which Dr. Sharp was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993.  She obtained a Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of North Carolina, and returned to Dr. Sharp’s laboratory for postdoctoral studies. In her laboratory at Tufts, Dr. Moore studies the molecular mechanisms of mRNA processing, its regulation in response to environmental cues, and its coordination with other nuclear processes. Her research has been steadily funded by the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Moore’s passion for increasing diversity in biomedical research runs deeps. In 1990, Dr. Moore initiated Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences, a summer research program based at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, which has helped more than 400 young scientists from underrepresented groups pursue careers in science and medicine. Together with Tufts faculty member Dr. Henry Wortis, Dr. Moore co-developed another Sackler pipeline program, the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). This program is for recent college graduates from underrepresented groups who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research. Dr. Moore also led the development of NIH initiatives that exposed Tufts undergraduate engineering and computer science students to important problems in biomedical science and provided them with both theoretical and hands-on training in biology.

Most recently, Dr. Moore established and directs the Training in Education and Critical Research Skills (TEACRS) Program. TEACRS prepares talented Tufts postdoctoral fellows for successful academic careers that involve research, teaching, and mentoring of a diverse student body, and provides increased opportunities in biomedical education for local minority-serving institutions in the Boston area. Since its inception in 2006, TEACRS has placed 31 scholars in faculty positions, and its activities have significantly enhanced the capacity of its partner institutions to deliver exciting science curricula, increased the opportunities for students at these schools to participate in biomedical research, and encouraged and supported these students to pursue careers in science.

The Zucker Professorship was established in 2001 by psychologist Natalie V. Zucker. Mrs. Zucker’s passion was to support women at Tufts University School of Medicine—the alma mater of her husband, Milton Zucker, M30—through this professorship, the Natalie V. Zucker Research Center for Women Scholars, and other funds at Tufts. Accordingly, the Zucker Professorship is designated for an outstanding woman scholar and teacher at the School of Medicine who serves as a role model and mentor for other women at the School of Medicine. The professorship’s inaugural and most recent holder was Diana Bianchi, M.D., who left Tufts this past fall to assume leadership of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Given her great passion for and successful track record in mentorship, I am confident that Dr. Moore will be exactly the role model and ardent champion of women in the health sciences that Natalie Zucker envisioned when she established this professorship at Tufts. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Moore on this appointment.

Harris A. Berman, M.D., F.A.C.P.