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3 WUSTL faculty named AAAS Fellows
Date:1/11/2011

Three Washington University faculty have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society.

The rank of fellow is bestowed upon members by their peers in recognition of scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. It is the highest honor awarded by AAAS.

Of the Washington University honorees, two are from the School of Medicine and one is from Arts & Sciences. They are:

Peter M.J. Burgers, PhD, the Marvin Brennecke Professor in Biological Chemistry, was elected to the Section on Biological Sciences for distinguished contributions to the fields of DNA replication and DNA damage response mechanisms. He is an internationally recognized leader in the biochemistry and genetics of DNA replication and cellular responses to DNA damage.

Burgers studies DNA metabolism in yeast cells, which have similar regulatory mechanisms to those found in human cells. He is particularly interested in the DNA replication fork, where active duplication of the genetic material takes place, and the mechanisms that come into play when that replication goes awry because of DNA damage or other stress.

He focuses his work on two aspects of these responses. One is cell cycle checkpoints, where a cell halts DNA replication until stress has been resolved or damage has been repaired, and the other is mutagenesis, where the replication machinery in the cell makes mutations as a kind of last-ditch effort to survive. Malfunctions in these replication control processes can lead to DNA instability, which can harm the cell's ability to control its own growth and lead to cancer.

Tamara L. Doering, MD, PhD, professor of molecular microbiology and director of the Graduate Program in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, was elected to the Section on Medical Sciences for distinguished contributions to understanding
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Contact: Beth Miller
millerbe@wustl.edu
314-286-0119
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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