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Sarah Elgin is a professor of biology, genetics, and education and a molecular biologist, whose research focus is on the role of chromatin structure in gene regulation. She and her research team have developed new techniques to study how DNA is packaged in the cell nucleus, particularly differentiating heterochromatin. Elgin founded the Genomics Education Partnership, a collaboration of faculty from primarily undergraduate institutions nationwide with the biology and computer science departments,and The McDonnell Genome Institute of Washington University in St. Louis, which aims to provide students with an opportunity to participate in a large-scale genome sequencing and annotation research project, contributing to scientific discovery.