Lee Silver

Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Emeritus

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  • Impact of Religion on Bioscience Policy and Politics
  • Human Embryo Research
  • Reprogenetics
  • Genetically Modified Crops


Lee M. Silver is Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Policy and a member of the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  He also has joint appointments  at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Center for Law and Public Affairs, all at Princeton University. Silver received bachelors and masters degrees in physics from the University of Pennsylvania (1969-1973), a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University (1973-1977), postdoctoral training in mammalian genetics at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1977-1980), and training in molecular biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1980-1984).
Silver has published over 180 scientific  articles in the fields of developmental genetics, genomics, molecular evolution, population genetics, behavioral genetics, and computer modeling.  His book Mouse Genetics: Concepts and Applications, published in 1995, is still a primary resource for graduate students and postdocs who make use of the mouse as a model system for genetic analysis. Silver is also coauthor, with Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell and genomics pioneer Leroy Hood, of the advanced undergraduate textbook Genetics: From genes to genomes. He was elected to be a lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a recipient of an unsolicited National Institutes of Health MERIT award for outstanding research in genetics. Silver has been elected to the governing boards of the Genetics Society of America and the International Mammalian Genome Society.
During the last decade, Silver has published scholarly articles at the interface of biomedical science, law, bioethics, and public policy. He was a member of the New Jersey Bioethics Commission Task Force formed to recommend reproductive policy for the New Jersey State Legislature, and has testified on reproductive and genetic technologies before U.S. Congressional and New York State Senate committees.  He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Council on Science and Health, the Advisory Board of The Reason Project, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle. He has also consulted for governmental agencies in the U.S. and Europe.
In addition to his academic articles and technical books, Silver has authored Challenging Nature: The clash between biotechnology and spirituality (2006) and Remaking Eden: How genetic engineering and cloning will transform the American family. He has also authored popular pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and Newsweek International, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including the Charlie Rose Show, 20/20, 60 Minutes, PBS News Hour, NBC Nightly News, ABC News, Nightline, the Steven Colbert Report, multiple television documentaries and National Public Radio. Additional biographical details are available at his website.

For more information, visit http://www.leemsilver.net/.