I am a geneticist and a biochemist. My current research program is directed at understanding how cells prevent the accumulation of mutations and genome rearrangements.
Our research efforts primarily use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism for basic studies, and we have applied insights from these studies to understanding the genetics of human cancer susceptibility. As a consequence, our fundamental discoveries about DNA mismatch repair and the pathways that prevent genome instability over the past several decades have proved to be central to understanding the genetics of cancer susceptibility.
I received my BS (1971) and PhD (1975) from the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (1975-78). From 1978 to 1997 I was a faculty member at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Since 1997, I have been a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in San Diego, where I head the Laboratory of Cancer Genetics. I am also a Distinguished Professor in the departments of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and a member of the Moores-UCSD Cancer Center, the UCSD Institute of Genomic Medicine and the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. I also serve as Head of Academic Affairs for the worldwide operations of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
I have served on numerous grant review panels and advisory boards for the National Institutes of Health, including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, as well as on the scientific advisory boards of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the USC-Norris Cancer Center, the University of New Mexico Cancer Center and the Stand Up 2 Cancer Foundation. In addition, I have served on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scientific Review Board and serve on the Scientific Review Council of the Cancer Prevention & Review Institute of Texas. I have also served on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including Cell, Molecular and Cellular Biology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry and DNA Repair and have been active in organizing several national and international scientific meetings. I have published more than 275 papers.
BS, University of California, Irvine, 1971
PhD, University of California, Irvine, 1975
National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1975
NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1976
ACS Junior Faculty Research Award, 1981
ACS Faculty Research Award, 1984
Special Scientific Achievement Award, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Inc., 1994
Morse Research Award, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 1994
Charles S. Mott Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, 1996
Elected, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, 1998
Elected, National Academy of Sciences (USA), 2000
Ernst W. Bernter Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2002
Katharine Berkan Judd Award, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 2006
Kirk A. Landon-AACR Award for Basic Cancer Research, 2007
Elected, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2008