Meet IOS: Kim Gallagher

Title: Kimberly Gallagher, Program Director BIO/IOS – Developmental Systems

Education: B.A.: Barnard College, Columbia University – Biology, Ph.D.: University of California San Diego – Biology

Home Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Tell us about your research:

I am very interested in the signaling pathways and mechanisms that underlie development. A primary focus of the research in my laboratory is understanding how transcription factors can move between cells in plants and thereby affect the identity or behavior of neighboring cells. We are interested particularly in uncovering the factors that control (promote or limit) cell-to-cell movement of proteins. We think about these questions largely in the context of development and from an evolutionary perspective. For example, a key question is whether species level differences in the movement of signaling molecules drives developmental innovation.

What made you want to step into your role at NSF?

During my education and career, I’ve benefitted from federally–funded research initiatives. A strong economic and philosophical commitment to rigorous basic science has made the United States a world leader in scientific innovation and a magnet for some of the best scientists in the world. NSF plays a key role in ensuring that basic research continues to receive adequate support and in educating the public about the importance of funding science and technology. I wanted to be part of this process and get a better understanding of how NSF interacts with the members of the scientific community and government.

What are you looking forward to during your time at NSF?

Reading a lot of interesting and innovative new proposals.

What is something that you would like people to know about you?

I am a first-generation college student. I think that I got my love for biology and research growing up on a small home farm where innovation and experimentation were common. In my spare time, I like to cycle, garden, and when possible, play squash.