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Dr. Janice Ann Fischer, Ph.D.


Department of Molecular Biosciences

College of Natural Sciences

UT Austin

Dr. Janice Fischer earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Harvard University in 1988 and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT before joining the faculty of UT Austin in 1993 as an Assistant Professor. She rose through the ranks to become a Professor in the Molecular Biosciences Department. In her research, Dr. Fischer used fruit fly genetics to understand basic molecular aspects of developmental biology; for example, how do cells communicate with each other to form eyes? Thirteen Ph.D. students earned their degrees working in Dr. Fischer's lab, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the March of Dimes. In addition, more than 70 undergraduates performed research in her lab. Since 2013, Dr. Fischer has been the Director of the Biology Instructional Office, which helps coordinate teaching for all the biology departments. She has taught both graduate and undergraduate genetics classes at UT Austin, and in recent years she teaches genetics to as many as 800 sophomores each year. Dr. Fischer is co-author and digital editor of the textbook Genetics: From Genes to Genomes, published by McGraw-Hill. When not thinking about genetics, she makes time for making jewelry, clothing, music, and jam, gardening, attending stand-up comedy, learning math, her numerous pets, her husband, and her daughter.