Stephen Kron
Cancer genomics, Tumor biology


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, BA Biochemistry, 1982

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, MSE Bioengineering, 1983

Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., MD, 1990

Stanford University, Stanford Calif., PhD Cell Biology, 1990

Whitehead Institute, Cambridge Mass., Postdoc in Genetics, 1995

I was born in Philadelphia in 1961 and developed an early interest in biology. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree with honors and a Master’s degree in bioengineering in 1983 from the University of Pennsylvania, I moved to Stanford University, where I earned my MD and PhD degrees. My graduate work at Stanford with Jim Spudich was on developing tools to probe the mechanics of muscle with single molecules. With support from a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, I completed my postdoctoral training in Gerry Fink’s lab at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, where I studied cell division and morphogenesis in brewer’s yeast. In 1996, I joined the University of Chicago and built a lab studying cell signaling and the control of cell division, gradually focusing on the cellular response to DNA damage.

My laboratory is highly interactive and interdisciplinary, including researchers who specialize in computation, drug discovery, systems biology, imaging and other approaches to examine responses to DNA damage and other stresses in cancer cells and tumors. My collaborators include chemists, engineers, computer scientists, molecular biologists, imaging scientists and radiation oncologists at multiple institutions.

Our current basic research and technology efforts include defining roles for chromatin dynamics and cell cycle regulation in DNA damage checkpoint response and cellular senescence, dissecting cross-talk between metabolism and the DNA damage response, developing novel molecular assays to interrogate cell signaling in cancer, and implementing novel mass spectrometry approaches to enable quantitative proteomics. We also pursue translational projects directed at discovering inhibitors of cellular response to DNA double strand breaks as an approach to radio-sensitization to improve radiotherapy, examining DNA damage and repair in tissues and tumors, and exploiting DNA damage responses to induce anti-tumor immune responses.

I have received more than 20 patents and have founded two startup companies. Among my commercialized inventions is a core technology for genome-scale DNA sequencing. As a young faculty member, I received a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER award and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar Award. I received tenure at the University of Chicago in 2003, was named a Stohlman Scholar by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in 2007 and was promoted to Professor in 2009. I have taught undergraduate, graduate and medical students and received the Provost’s Teaching Award in 2008.

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