Terry Orr-Weaver

Terry Orr-Weaver

Professor Emerita; Alumna, Whitehead Institute

Before closing her lab, Terry Orr-Weaver probed the incredibly complex and coordinated process of development from egg to fertilized embryo and ultimately adult.






  • PhD, 1984, Harvard University
  • BA, 1977, Chemistry, University of California - San Diego

Research Summary

Before retiring from MIT, Terry Orr-Weaver investigated the processes controlling cell division and cell size during development. She studied the transition from oocyte to embryo, the regulators involved, and how this leads to cell cycle changes from meiosis to embryonic mitosis. She also aimed to delineate the coordination of cell size between tissue layers and the regulation of replication origin activation and replication fork progression.


  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Excellence in Science Award, 2013
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, 2010
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2006
  • American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow, 2006

Key Publications

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Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute