Victor Corces is a molecular biologist recognized for his work in elucidating the three-dimensional arrangement of the chromatin in the nucleus. He is known particularly for his studies on the characterization of architectural proteins and the investigation of their role in mediating long-range interactions between distant regulatory sequences to control gene expression during cell differentiation and in response to environmental factors. Corces was born and grew up in Asturias, Spain. He graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid with a degree in chemistry and from the Autonoma University of Madrid in 1978 with a Ph. D. in chemistry. He was a postdoctoral fellow in molecular genetics at Harvard University. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 1982 and has been a Professor at Emory University since 2007. He was named an Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and is a member of both the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Victor Corces' laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which chromosomes are arranged in the three-dimensional nuclear space and how this organization affects or is affected by gene expression. They identified a special type of DNA-binding proteins first called insulator proteins and now termed architectural proteins. These proteins interact with distant regions of the genome and bring enhancers close to their target promoters by forming loops. Genes located in these loops interact preferentially with regulatory sequences present inside versus outside of the loop. The location of architectural proteins varies in different cell types during development and, as a consequence, the types of loops that form and interactions between regulatory sequences and the genes whose expression the control also changes, leading to the establishment of different patterns of gene expression that determine specific cell fates. Environmental factors, including chemicals present in the environment, can cause changes in the distribution of architectural proteins and the three-dimensional organization of the nucleus. These changes can be inherited transgenerationally between parents and their progeny, resulting in the epigenetic transmission of health defects, such as obesity, from one generation to the next.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics