Announcing Geeta Narlikar, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

January 22, 2024 | By UCSF School of Medicine

Dr. Geeta NarlikarWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Geeta Narlikar, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, effective February 1, 2024. We would like to thank Jeremy Reiter, MD, PhD, who has served as Chair since January 1, 2017. You can read more about his many impactful accomplishments and contributions to the Department here. I would also like to thank the search committee, chaired by David Julius, PhD, for their work on this position.

A faculty member in the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics since 2003, Dr. Narlikar is an expert in the fields of epigenetic regulation and genome organization. Her lab studies how the folding and compartmentalization of our genome is regulated to generate the many cell types that make up our bodies, and has pioneered the application of sophisticated biophysical approaches to study the mechanisms of macromolecules that regulate genome organization. The discoveries from her lab are changing textbook descriptions of genome packaging and suggesting new avenues to tackle diseases caused by defects in genome organization. 

Dr. Narlikar’s scientific work has been recognized by multiple awards during the course of her faculty career, including: the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2006), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award (2008), the Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award by the UCSF Graduate Students Association (2011), the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging (2018), and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (2018). Since 2017, Professor Narlikar has been appointed to the Lewis and Ruth Cozen Chair I. Notably in 2021, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors accorded to American scientists.

Dr. Narlikar enjoys teaching and mentoring graduate students and has been deeply involved in graduate education, serving as Co-Director of the Tetrad graduate program from 2018-2023. She has focused on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging both within her lab, and by serving on a number of committees devoted to improving diversity in science, including: the Biochemistry Department DEI committee (Chair from 2017 – 2021), the Graduate Division DEI taskforce committee, the Tetrad DEI committee, and the Watson Scholars selection committee.

We have no doubt that Dr. Narlikar’s history of exceptional research, devotion to mentoring and supporting learners’ development into future scientific leaders, and commitment to diversity and equity in science, will help to further strengthen the reputation of the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.