Sarah Elgin

Department of Biology

Sarah C.R. Elgin retired in May 2018 as the  Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts and Sciences. She was also professor of biology, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, professor of genetics, and professor of education.

In the late 1980s, Elgin, helped initiate a pilot program with her own children’s University City School District to bring Washington University science faculty into the schools to provide students with interactive environmental science and genetics projects. In 1990, Elgin expanded this initial partnership and founded Science Outreach, the forerunner to the Institute for School Partnership.

Thanks to the efforts of Elgin and her colleagues, the program flourished, becoming one of the nation’s largest initiatives to improve the quality of science and math education in the public schools.

Her research focused on the role that chromatin structure—the packaging of the DNA in the nucleus of a cell—plays in gene regulation in fruit flies.