Phillip D. Zamore, PhD, is the Gretchen Stone Cook Professor of Biomedical Sciences, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Chair of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. He earned his AB (1986) and PhD (1992) degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University. He then pursued postdoctoral studies at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He joined the faculty at UMass Chan in 1999. Zamore is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Inventors. Awards include the 2000 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, 2002 W.M. Keck Foundation Young Scholar in Medical Research Award, 2009 Schering-Plough Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the 2015 UMass Chan Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence in Scholarship.

Research Interests

The Zamore laboratory studies Argonaute proteins and small RNA silencing pathways, including the RNA interference (RNAi), microRNA, and PIWI-interacting RNA pathways. Argonaute proteins are RNA- or DNA-binding proteins that use small RNA or DNA guides to find their regulatory targets. They are found in eukaryotes, archaea, and bacteria. Argonaute proteins have been repeatedly repurposed in evolution to regulate such disparate cellular functions as cell division, anti-viral defense, transposon silencing, regulation of mRNA stability and translation, and epigenetic repression of transcription. The laboratory is especially interested the diversity of molecular mechanisms that enable Argonaute proteins to fulfill such a panoply of biological tasks. Zamore and his collaborators seek to use the fundamental insights gained from studies in model and non-model bacteria, insects, and mammals to design therapies for human diseases.

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Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics

Secondary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology