Stephen J. Elledge, Ph.D.

Stephen_ElledgeGregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Stephen Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Genetics at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. He performed post-doctoral studies in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University. He was awarded the Dickson Prize in Medicine; the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine in 2012; the 2013 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in the Basic Medical Sciences; and the Gairdner Foundation International Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy.

Dr. Elledge’s research interests center on the study of proteins that sense and respond to DNA damage and regulate the cell division cycle. He developed new and advanced technologies that facilitated the identification of novel genes involved in this process. He identified several key components of the basic cell cycle regulatory machinery and has made significant contributions to elucidation of the biochemical pathways that regulate this machinery through synthesis of small inhibitory proteins, through phosphorylation and through regulated protein destruction by the ubiquitin proteosome pathway. His research has uncovered many of the proteins that safeguard the genome by monitoring the presence of DNA damage, thus orchestrating the repair of this DNA damage and ensuring the integrity of chromosomes before cells divide. Many of these genes when mutant lead to genomic instability and cancer. He is a leader in the development and use of RNA interference genetic methods to allow the discovery of genes important for human health. He has applied these genetic technologies to the understanding of host-pathogen relationships, the DNA damage response, and the identification of genes that drive cancer and upon which human cancers depend for survival. He continues to work in cancer research and the DNA damage response today.