Mary-Lou Pardue

Mary-Lou Pardue

Professor Emerita

Before closing her lab, Mary-Lou Pardue studied fruit fly chromosomes to better understand chromosome replication, cell division, and related cellular structures.


  • PhD 1970, Yale University
  • BS, 1950, Biology, College of William and Mary

Research Summary

Before closing her lab, Mary Lou Pardue studied the ends of chromosomes — complex, dynamic nucleoprotein structures formed on long arrays of repeated DNA sequences, known as telomeres. She analyzed Drosophila telomeres, and discovered that they are maintained by special transposable elements called retrotransposons. The Drosophila telomeric retrotransposons are unusual transposable elements, and provide a link between telomeres and transposable elements that raises interesting questions about the evolution of both eukaryotic chromosomes and transposable elements. Mary-Lou Pardue is no longer accepting students.


  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 1985
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 1983


Photo credit: Linda Earle