David Botstein

Princeton University

Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1981)

Research Interests

Dr. Botstein's research has centered on genetics, especially the use of genetic methods to understand biological functions. The bacteriophage P22 was the focus of his earliest research, which included studies of DNA replication, recombination, head assembly and DNA maturation. He also contributed to understanding of the regulation and evolution of temperate bacteriophages. In the early 1970s he turned to budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and devised novel genetic methods to study the functions of the actin and tubulin cytoskeletons. Other scientific interests of the Botstein laboratory include protein secretion (both in bacteria and yeast) and the use of localized random mutagenesis technologies to understand protein structure/function relationships. Finally, he began his theoretical contributions on linkage mapping of the human genome beginning in 1980 by suggesting, with collaborators, that restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) could be used to produce a linkage map of the human genome and to map the genes that cause disease in humans. His current research activities include studies of yeast genetics and cell biology, linkage mapping of human genes predisposing to manic depressive illness, hypertension and other complex diseases and the development and maintenance (with J. Michael Cherry) of the Saccharomyces Genome Database on the World Wide Web (http://www-genome.stanford.edu).

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