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Peter M.J. Burgers, PhD

Peter M.J. Burgers, PhD, the Marvin Brennecke Professor of Biological Chemistry, is honored for his accomplishments as an internationally recognized leader in DNA replication and DNA repair studies.

Burgers’ laboratory has made critical and definitive contributions to his field for more than three decades. Known as a master of experimental design and rigor, Burgers studies DNA metabolism in yeast cells, whose regulatory mechanisms are similar to those in human cells. Burgers distinguishes himself by employing a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology and critical genetic analysis to define the pathways of DNA replication and their regulation. Malfunctions in these processes can disrupt wide-ranging cellular functions, including the cell’s ability to control its own growth, a problem that can lead to cancer.

Burgers has published 140 research articles. He is a Searle Scholar and has been honored as a fellow of the Max Planck Institute, the American Cancer Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Born in the Netherlands, Burgers earned a doctoral degree at the State University of Leiden in 1977. He came to Washington University in 1983 after postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine and at Stanford University School of Medicine. At Stanford, Burgers studied with Arthur Kornberg, a former Washington University faculty member who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1959. In 2010, he received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the University of Umeå, Sweden, in recognition of his fundamental studies of DNA metabolism.

Published: 01/27/2014