Marlene Belfort

Molecular biology expert studies regulation of gene expression

The World Within Reach
Contact the Office of Media Relations at (518) 956-8150

Marlene Belfort

Distinguished Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Biological Sciences

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Regulation of Gene Expression; Biology of Introns; Structure and function of inteins and their use in biotechnology; Small RNA (sRNA) regulation of genes in E. coli and Mycobacteria

Campus phone: (518) 437-4466
Campus email:


Dr. Marlene Belfort is a distinguished professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, UAlbany, SUNY.

She also holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer (RPI).

After graduating with a B.S. degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Belfort received her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the University of California at Irvine, and performed post-doctoral work at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel and at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Dr. Belfort held a research appointment at Wadsworth Center in Albany, where she also served as the director of the Genetics Division. Dr. Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology.

She served on the board of directors of the RNA Society and on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Research Center and the Bay Paul Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Belfort’s research interests are in splicing, mobility and evolution of self-splicing introns and inteins, and their application to biotechnology and medicine.

She has trained many tens of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows. A goal of hers is to promote the careers of women in science, on which she has written, and for which she was recognized by the American Society for Microbiology with the Alice Evans Award for her contributions toward fostering the advancement of women.

In addition to being continuously funded by the NIH for >30 years, including a 10-year MERIT award, she has served on many study sections. She chaired the NIH Microbial Genetics study section, as well as the prestigious Pioneer Award and Early Independence Award study sections. She currently serves on the NIH Council of Councils.