As Deputy Director of NIEHS, Trevor K. Archer, Ph.D., assists the NIEHS and National Toxicology Program Director, Rick Woychik, Ph.D., in the overall management of the institute. He supports the formulation and implementation of plans and policies that carry out the NIEHS scientific mission and research goals. He also provides strategic leadership for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility programs at NIEHS.
His research career spans more than three decades, two of which were spent in key scientific roles at NIEHS. Archer is known for expertise in cancer biology, hormone receptors, chromatin function, epigenetics, and stem cells, as well as his dedication to addressing workplace disparities in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Before appointment as deputy director, Archer was chief of the NIEHS Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory and still heads the Chromatin and Gene Expression Group. He is also a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Distinguished Investigator.
Science in the Archer laboratory explores the intersecting areas of Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology. Dr. Archer and his colleagues explore the interplay of microRNAs and chromatin remodeling complexes, two powerful epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the pluripotent state and how epigenetic enzymes, age, and ancestry might regulate the efficiency of human iPSC Reprogramming. These studies synergize with a major focus of the Archer laboratory, understanding of how epigenetic enzymes, including chromatin remodeling proteins such as the SWI/SNF complex, work with transcription factors, such as the glucocorticoid receptor, to respond to, both internal and external environmental cues. In this area, the research team has extensively studied the potential regulatory role of chromatin architecture in modulating the activity of these transcriptional effectors and the implications for the deregulated control of gene expression that is characteristic of cancer. Indeed, this research has the potential to expand understanding of how environmental agents influence human health.
Archer has pioneered efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at NIEHS and in the greater scientific community. He was instrumental in securing program funding to support the recruitment and retention of under-represented minority trainees. Archer assisted in establishing the Kenneth Olden Distinguished Lecture series at NIEHS, and he chairs the speaker selection committee for that program. For the NIH UNITE initiative, he co-chairs a committee focused on improving workplace culture. Former director of NIH, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., recognized Archer’s leadership and longstanding commitment in promoting equity and opportunity with the 2017 NIH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award of the Year.
Archer received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1987 at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and completed postdoctoral training on chromatin gene transcription and steroid receptors at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. In 1991, Archer joined the University of Western Ontario in Canada, becoming a National Cancer Institute of Canada Scientist in 1992 and tenured professor in 1996. Archer was subsequently recruited to the NIEHS in 1999 to head the Chromatin Structure and Gene Expression Group and was appointed as chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis in February 2003. In 2014 Archer became the founding chief of the Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology laboratory at NIEHS.