NASA Early Career Fellow
Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology,
Astronomy and Steward Observatory
Betül Kaçar is an astrobiologist at the University of Arizona who uses paleogenomics to resurrect ancient genes and reconstruct evolutionary histories. Kaçar describes her work as making “molecular time machines” as a way to explore common ancestors and try to rebuild lost histories. She was a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and a Research Group Leader at Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology before joining University Arizona in 2018, where she focuses on reconstructing key enzymatic intermediates between biological activity and global geochemical reservoirs throughout the Earth's deep history. She was named Way Cool Scientist by the Science Club for Girls in 2017, is the recipient of the NASA Early Career Fellowship in 2018 and currently serves as one of the Principal Investigators of the NASA Reliving the Past Astrobiology Center as well as the Earth-Life Science Institute in Tokyo, Japan.