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James Berger

Dr. JAMES BERGER is an internationally renowned scientist who has made profound contributions to our understanding of proteins that control fundamental DNA transactions – replication, recombination and topological transitions. His work informs, at a fundamental level, our understanding of cell division and cell survival. In the course of his studies he has elucidated the mechanisms of action of major classes of anti-cancer and antibiotic compounds. He is the author of over 130 publications in the most prestigious journals in molecular and structural biology, including Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, PNAS, Nucleic Acids Research and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Dr. Berger was recruited to Johns Hopkins in 2013 at the rank of Professor after an outstanding career at the University of California at Berkeley, where he had joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as an Assistant Professor in 1998. There he rose quickly through the ranks, becoming Professor in 2005.

Dr. Berger was an exemplary teacher at Berkeley, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from general Biochemistry to Physical Biochemistry. Here at Johns Hopkins he has continued his commitment to teaching by directing the Medical School course dealing with molecules, kinetics and thermodynamics. Moreover, he has developed an interactive resource on structure determination module which is used by all Biophysics graduate students. The movies from his website and the insights provided by his published work are widely disseminated in Molecular Biology courses nationwide.

Dr. Berger is an outstanding citizen and has taken on a large number of responsibilities in his department, in the School of Medicine and at the University. He co-directs the Cancer Chemical and Structural Biology Program at the School of Medicine and is a member of the Medical School Research Council.

In addition to his many publications, James has given numerous named lectures, is the current academic editor of PLoS, an editorial board member for the prestigious journal Structure, and a section editor for the Faculty of 1000. In 2012 he became editor of the Journal of Molecular Biology, one of the most important publications in the field of structural molecular biology.

Dr. Berger has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2012) and the National Academy of Sciences (2013). He is the recipient of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Schering Plough Research Institute Scientific Achievement Award (2006), the American Chemical Society Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry (2006), and the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology (2011).