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Leemor Joshua-Tor, PhD, CSHL biologist and WSBS dean, is named an HHMI Investigator
Date:5/26/2008

the protein -- a groove in its topography -- into which a short RNA and messenger-RNA can nestle when the two are paired, prior to cleaving.

Making those discoveries are landmark moments in my career in science, but so is the honor that has now been bestowed upon me by HHMI, Dr. Joshua- Tor commented. I am grateful. Being named an HHMI Investigator bespeaks a trust that the institution has placed in our lab and in our ability to make valuable contributions to science. This is precisely what I intend to do.

Inner Workings of a Molecular Machine

Since her discovery of Slicer, Dr. Joshua-Tor has used structural biology and molecular biology tools to determine the structure of a protein called E1 that is found in papillomavirus, a DNA tumor virus that causes cervical cancer. Scientists knew that E1 was a member of a protein family called helicases that unwind the DNA double-helix during chromosome replication. They did not know, however, how helicases accomplished the task

Dr. Joshua-Tor and Eric Enemark revealed how six E1 proteins form a molecular machine that pulls a single strand of DNA through its channel and how it utilizes ATP to do this. Additional work is under way in the lab to determine more comprehensively how this helicase complex works.

Leemor Joshua-Tor was born in Israel and trained at Tel-Aviv University, where she earned a B.Sc. in chemistry, and at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, where she earned a Ph.D. in chemistry. Dr. Joshua-Tor was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology prior to joining the CSHL faculty as an assistant investigator. She was named associate professor at CSHL in 1999 and professor in 2005. She is the recipient of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award from the Protein Society and a Beckman Young Investigator Award.

A gifted mentor, Dr. Joshua-Tor was named co-director of the undergraduate research program at the Watson School of
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Contact: Jim Bono
bono@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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