Cecilia Moens, PhD

faculty member

Cecilia Moens, PhD

Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.6522
Mail Stop: A2-025

Dr. Cecilia Moens studies how genes control the brain’s early development, setting up the complex structure found in adult brains. She uses zebrafish as a model system in which to understand how genes control important processes, such as how cells grow and change into new cell types, and how they move and communicate with each other in a 3D environment over time. These processes are exquisitely regulated in developing organs — but the same genes that control development can promote cancer when awakened in adult tissue. A deeper understanding of the genes that control these processes will also shed light on what goes awry in cancer. Dr. Moens also focuses on the relationship between neuron location, identity and function. She is working to understand how cranial motor neurons, which control muscles in the head and neck, move to the right location, acquire their identity as motor neurons and become part of a functional, muscle-controlling circuit.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Affiliate Professor, Biology Program
University of Washington


PhD, Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 1993

BSc, Biology, York University, 1987

"[Biologists are] never starting from ground zero anymore. What we do as developmental biologists is highly relevant to human developmental disorders."

 — Dr. Cecilia Moens

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For the Media

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Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210