Catherine Dulac is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Lee and Ezpeleta Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. She grew up in Montpellier, France, graduated from the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris VI. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University before joining Harvard University as a faculty member and served as chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology from 2007 until 2013. She is a member of Harvard Center for Brain Science and of the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at Harvard University.
Dulac’s work has made essential contributions to the molecular and functional identification of neural circuits underlying instinctive social behaviors in mice and to the study of genomic imprinting in the adult and developing brain. Dulac’s laboratory has helped decipher the unique characteristics of social recognition, including the sensory cues that trigger distinct social behaviors, the nature and identity of social behavior circuits in males and females and their modulation by the animal physiological status. Her work combines cutting-edge genetics, transcriptomics, physiology and imaging approaches to uncover the neural basis underlying instinctive social behaviors, a set of brain functions that are typically affected in mental illness.