Stephen Kowalczykowski, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and of Molecular and Cellular Biology University of California
Dr. Stephen Kowalczykowski majored in chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and subsequently received his Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry with Dr. Jacinto Steinhardt at Georgetown University. His postdoctoral training was with Dr. Peter von Hippel at the University of Oregon. Dr. Kowalczykowski started his independent faculty career in 1981 at Northwestern University Medical School. In 1991, he relocated to the University of California at Davis with the rank of Full Professor. He subsequently served as the Chair of Microbiology and the Director of the Center for Genetics and Development; currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and of Molecular and Cell Biology. Dr. Kowalczykowski’s honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences (2007), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005), the American Academy of Microbiology (2003), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001). Dr. Kowalczykowski’s research programs focus on the molecular mechanisms of recombinational DNA repair; the function of homologous recombination in the maintenance of genomic integrity; the biochemical functions of DNA helicases, such as BLM and WRN; single-molecule biophysical analysis of protein-nucleic acid interactions; and roles of BRCA1, BRCA2, and RAD51 in the molecular etiology of breast cancer.
Lee Zou, PhD
Professor, Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Associate Scientific Director, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center
James & Patricia Poitras Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Jim & Ann Orr MGH
Research ScholarAssociate Member, Broad Institute
The research of the Zou laboratory has focused on the basic mechanisms of genome maintenance and DNA damage responses. For more than a decade, Dr. Zou has been an active contributor to the research of DNA replication and DNA damage checkpoints, particularly the ATR checkpoint pathway. His previous work has demonstrated that RPA-coated ssDNA is the key structure that activates the ATR pathway during DNA damage and replication stress responses. Furthermore, the Zou lab has identified a number of key DNA damage sensors and regulators of the ATR pathway. The lab's studies, particularly biochemical studies, have played a major role in establishing the current models of checkpoint activation and DNA damage signaling. In recent years, the Zou lab has extended studies to investigate how checkpoint pathways can be targeted in cancer therapy. Recent studies revealed that specific subsets of cancers are reliant on ATR to cope with different types of oncogenic stress, providing new opportunities for targeted cancer therapy.