Philip Hieter is a Professor of Medical Genetics at the Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia. Dr Hieter is recognized for his work on structural and regulatory proteins that ensure faithful segregation of chromosomes during cell division, including important studies on yeast centromeres, sister chromatid cohesion, and regulation of cell cycle progression during mitosis. Throughout his career, his work has demonstrated and advocated the value of model experimental organisms for understanding mechanisms of human disease. Dr. Hieter received his PhD in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1981, trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, and was a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine from 1985-1997. He moved to the University of British Columbia in 1997, and served as Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories until 2008. Dr. Hieter served as President of the Genetics Society of America in 2012, and President of the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences in 2017. He was the recipient of the George Beadle Award from the Genetics Society of America in 2018. Dr. Hieter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Dr. Hieter's laboratory has developed and applied novel genetic, biochemical, and genomic methodologies to obtain a detailed understanding of the molecular components required for chromosome transmission in yeast, with the over-arching goal of relating his work in yeast to human cancer. He has made important basic discoveries in the field of chromosome biology, including molecular mechanisms of kinetochore structure and function, sister chromatid cohesion, and cell division cycle control. His laboratory has translated these basic findings in yeast to an understanding of genome instability in cancer, and as a means for identifying novel cancer drug targets. His laboratory uses synthetic lethal genetic interaction data, based on yeast CIN genes whose human counterparts are mutated in cancers, to predict and validate novel drug targets for cancer therapy by a cross-species candidate approach. In addition, Dr. Hieter leads the Canadian Rare Diseases Models and Mechanisms (RDMM) National Network that connects clinicians discovering new rare disease genes with scientists able to study equivalent genes and pathways in model organisms for immediate collaborative studies.

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Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics