Jared E. Toettcher



Areas of Research

Bioengineering, cell biology, developmental biology, optogenetic protein engineering


B.S. Bioengineering
University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D., Biological Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Jared Toettcher is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Originally from California, he graduated with a B.S. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley in 2004. He completed his graduate studies at MIT in Biological Engineering in 2009, working with Bruce Tidor (MIT) and Galit Lahav (Harvard Medical School) on the relationship between mammalian cells’ surveillance of DNA damage and decision to undergo cell cycle arrest. Dr. Toettcher then completed a Cancer Research Institute postdoctoral fellowship under Wendell Lim and Orion Weiner at UC San Francisco, where he developed new tools to control mammalian cell behavior by engineering optogenetic inputs to the signaling pathways controlled by Ras and PI 3-kinase.

Dr. Toettcher’s research focuses on dissecting how signaling pathways work together to orchestrate complex cell decision-making, and developing new tools to control molecular processes in living cells. Currently, his work focuses on how growth factor signaling pathways control developmental cell fates, how signal processing is altered between cellular contexts (e.g., normal vs cancer cells), and how to build light-sensitive proteins to control these processes. Dr. Toettcher’s honors and awards include being named a 2019 Vallee Scholar and receiving a 2018 James A. Elkins Preceptorship, a 2018 NSF CAREER Award, and a 2016 NIH Director's New Innovator Award.


140 Lewis Thomas Laboratory
Washington Road
Princeton, NJ  08544
(609) 258-1894


138 Lewis Thomas Laboratory
Washington Road
Princeton, NJ  08544
(609) 258-9243


Toettcher Lab
Department of Molecular Biology
138 Lewis Thomas Laboratory
Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544
Phone: 609-258-9243

Faculty Assistant
Ellen Brindle-Clark
230 Lewis Thomas Laboratory
[email protected]
Phone: 609-258-5419