James E. Haber

Brandeis University


Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Secondary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2010)

Biosketch

James E. Haber was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1943.  He received his AB from Harvard College and his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970.  After postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he joined the Department of Biology at Brandeis University in 1972.  He is now the Abraham and Etta Goodman Professor of Biology and Director of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center.  He has focused his research on genome instability, especially the repair of chromosome double-strand DNA breaks and the role of DNA damage checkpoints. In 2011 he received the Genetics Society of America’s Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Genetics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves as a representative of the Genetics Society of America to the Coalition of Life Sciences. 

Research Interests

Current research in the Haber lab focuses on several forms of homologous recombination, including non-allelic gene conversion, break-induced replication and single-strand template repair for gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9.  One major interest is the very high mutation rate associated with repair DNA synthesis and the frequent genome rearrangements caused by dissociation of the DNA repair machinery from the  template, leading to template switches and translocations.  Another focus is the role of chromatin modifications in repair. In addition his lab works on how cells sense and respond to DNA damage and how the DNA damage checkpoint is activated, maintained and turned off. 

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