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Head, Molecular Medicine Laboratory, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Marnie Blewitt completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Sydney, with a double major of Molecular Biology and Genetics. She continued at the University for her honours and PhD studies, working with Prof. Emma Whitelaw on mammalian epigenetics – the control of gene expression. During her PhD, she designed and developed a screen to find novel genes with a function in epigenetics; a challenging project for which she was awarded the Genetics Society of Australia DG Catcheside prize for the best PhD in Genetics. Marnie moved to Melbourne at the end of 2005 to take up a Peter Doherty Post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. Douglas Hilton at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Here, she has worked on one of the genes identified in her PhD, identifying a critical role for this gene in a process known as X inactivation. X inactivation is a process which occurs specifically in female mammals, to make the dose of genes on the X chromosome equivalent between females with 2 X chromosomes and males with just one. The work above also earned her the Australian Academy of Science Ruth Stephens Gani medal in 2009, and the L’Oreal Australia Women in Science fellowship 2009. Marnie has now established her own group at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as an Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth II fellow, working on the molecular mechanisms behind epigenetic control of gene expression.


  • 2009–present
    Epigenetics Laboratory head/ Group leader, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute


  • 2005 
    University of Sydney, PhD

Research Areas

  • Epigenetics (Incl. Genome Methylation And Epigenomics) (060404)