Professor Richard Padgett, a resident member of the Waksman Institute, has an academic appointment in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He is also a member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Child Health Institute. He studies TGFβ signal transduction using both C. elegans and Drosophila as model organisms to dissect this signaling pathway. TGFβ pathways are highly conserved in humans and are involved in many developmental events. Mutations in the pathway are associated with numerous diseases and cancers. Understanding how this pathway functions and is regulated will be important for developing better therapeutics. Dr. Padgett’s lab has always had undergraduate research students, who eventually entered medical or research fields after graduation. His interest in teaching and mentoring is evidenced from his Directorship of the Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program since 1999. In 2011, he became Co-Director of the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program, which is an umbrella program for five interdisciplinary graduate programs shared by Rutgers University and the graduate school at RWJ Medical School. In his spare time you may see Dr. Padgett attending local soccer games or antique car shows, which New Jersey is famous for.