ulia A. “Julie” Segre ’87 was elected to the Board of Trustees by her fellow alumni in 2011. She is a senior investigator for the Human Genome Project in Bethesda, Md. As a principal investigator in the Human Microbiome Project, she leads research into the millions of microbes that live on the skin and how these microbes affect human health, studying disorders such as eczema. As well, Segre develops DNA sequence technology to track and control transmissions of hospital-acquired bacterial pathogens.
After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics from Amherst, Segre did a yearlong Watson Fellowship and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology and genetics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. For the next four years, she did postdoctoral research in cell biology at the University of Chicago. She joined the Human Genome Project in 2000 and was given tenure and appointed senior investigator in 2007.
Segre is lead author of dozens of peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Science, Nature, and Science Translational Medicine. Her research findings have been covered by major news agencies such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, PBS/Frontline, NBC Nightly News and NPR. Her many awards and honors include Amherst’s Brown Prize and Breusch Prize for best senior honors thesis in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa membership, the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Postdoctoral Award, Burroughs Wellcome Career Development Award, and the 2013 Service to America Medal.