Move Over, Einstein

Biologist James E. Haber joins the elites as he becomes the 10th living Brandeis professor elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Earlier this year, biologist James E. Haber joined the likes of Albert Einstein, Orville Wright and Thomas Edison when he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most 
distinguished honorific society.

Haber, the 10th living Brandeis professor to be so honored, is among the preeminent biologists researching how breaks in the DNA double helix are repaired and what effects they have on the cell. His lab studies double-strand breaks (DSBs) in budding yeast, an ideal model organism since the same chromosome repair pathways occur in humans as well. Broken chromosomes can arise from irradiation or mutagenic chemicals, or during DNA replication. When DSBs go unrepaired, chromosome instability and even cell death can result. DSBs can also lead to chromosomal rearrangements, which are linked to cancer in mammals.

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