Ken Zaret

Kenneth S. Zaret, Ph.D. is the Joseph Leidy Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Director of UPenn’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2014-). Dr. Zaret did his graduate work on yeast genetics with Dr. Fred Sherman in the Department of Radiation Biology and Biophysics at the University of Rochester (1977-1982) and his postdoctoral work on steroid hormone regulation with Dr. Keith Yamamoto in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (1982-1985) at the University of California, San Francisco. From 1986 to 1999 he was in the Biochemistry Section, and then in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry at Brown University Medical School, where he attained the rank of Professor. From 1999 to 2009, Dr. Zaret was a Senior Member and Leader of the Cell and Developmental Biology Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he held the W.W. Smith Chair in Cancer Research. He also initiated the Epigenetics and Progenitor Cells Program at Fox Chase. Dr. Zaret moved to UPenn in 2009, where he served as Associate Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Co-Director of the Epigenetics Program until 2014. Dr. Zaret is a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at UPenn.

Dr. Zaret’s awards include a National Science Foundation Fellowship (1971), a National Research Service Predoctoral Award (1978-1981), the Wallace O. Fenn Award from the University of Rochester (1983), a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship (1982), a Searle Scholar faculty award (1986), a Fulbright U.S.-Spain Co-Investigator Award (1999), a grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program (2000), the Hans Popper Basic Science Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Liver Foundation (2002), grants from the Mathers Charitable Foundation (2001, 2004), a fellowship-study grant from the International Union Against Cancer – Yamagiwa-Yoshida (2006), a MERIT award from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, NIH (2006-2016), in 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2017 he received the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award from UPenn. In 2021, Ken was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2023, Ken was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Zaret has served as an Editor of the journals Molecular and Cellular Biology (1993-1997) and Development (2006-2012), as a guest editor of Methods: A Companion to Methods in Enzymology (1997), Current Opinions in Genetics and Development (2001), and Mechanisms of Development (2003). Dr. Zaret is currently on the Editorial Boards of Science, Genes and Development, Developmental Cell, and Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, on the Boards of seven Institutes, Societies, and Consortia.

Dr. Zaret has served on many grant review panels, including the Molecular Biology Study Section, the Cell and Developmental Function-1 Study Section, and Molecular Genetics B Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. He has served on the Council for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH) and the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), including being Chair of the BSC. Dr. Zaret was elected Treasurer of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (2019-2022).