Stephen J. Elledge wins 42nd Rosenstiel Award

Research has identified key DNA damage response genes

Professor Stephen J. Elledge

Professor Stephen J. Elledge of Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute has been awarded the 42nd Rosenstiel Award For Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science

Elledge is honored for elucidating how eukaryotic cells sense and respond to DNA damage.  He identified key DNA damage response genes both in yeast and mammalian cells, showed how the pathway is activated by DNA lesions and made key contributions to defining the cascade of events that enforces cell cycle arrest and controls DNA repair. 

Elledge’s work is also marked by the development of powerful research tools to uncover the network of genes involved in sensing and repairing DNA damage. His pioneering work laid the foundation for our current understanding of how failures in DNA damage sensing relate to the medically important field of genome instability.

Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine and a member of the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, the Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He received his Ph.D. at MIT and did postdoctoral work at Stanford University.  He began his career at Baylor College of Medicine and moved to Harvard Medical School in 2003.  Among his many awards are the Michael E. Debakey Award for Research Excellence, the American Association of Cancer Research G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award, the inaugural Paul Marks Prize in Cancer Research, the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology in 2001, the John B. Carter, Jr. Technology Innovation Award, the Genetics Society of America Medal, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, and the American Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Institute of Medicine. 

The Rosenstiel Award, founded in 1972, has had a distinguished record of identifying and honoring pioneering scientists who subsequently have been honored with the Lasker and Nobel Prizes.  Last year Brandeis honored Nahum Sonnenberg for his work in the regulation of protein translation, and the year before, David Allis and Michael Grunstein received the Award for demonstrating the role of histone modifications in the regulation of gene expression.  Previous winners honored Jules Hoffman and Ruslan Medzhitov for their discoveries in innate immunity; John Gurdon, Shinya Yamanaka and Irving Weissman for the development of pluripotent stem cells; Arthur Horwich and F. Ulrich Hartl for their work in protein folding; and Mary Lyon, Davor Solter and Azim Surani for their studies of epigenetic programming in embryos.  Find a full list of past winners here.

The Rosenstiel Award consists of a cash prize and a medal, to be awarded at a dinner at Brandeis on March 14, 2013.

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