Wade Harper, Harvard Medical School, USA
Wade Harper is the Bert and Natalie Vallee Professor of Molecular Pathology and the Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA). He received his PhD in Chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) prior to post-doctoral studies in biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School. In 1988, he joined the faculty in the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston TX, USA) before moving to Harvard Medical School in 2003. Awards include American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Michael Debakey Award for Excellence in Research in 1994 and 2000 for the discovery of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and the SCF ubiquitin ligase, the Vallee Visiting Professorship, and the Javits award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Harper’s work focuses on the analysis of ubiquitin-driven signaling systems and the integration of quantitative proteomics to understand mechanism. Initial work form his lab led to the discovery of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 which is the target of the p53 tumor suppressor and is required for G1 arrest in response to ionizing radiation. His work on the cell cycle led to the co-discovery of the Cullin-RING finger based ubiquitin ligase (CRL) system - a major class of enzymes that control the stability of hundreds of cellular proteins, generally in a signal-dependent manner. His lab has examined a number of distinct CRLs and defined their targets, which include proteins involved in cell cycle control, transcription, innate immunity, and the DNA damage response. Recently, Dr. Harper’s lab has used proteomic approaches to define the interaction networks of various protein families (deubiquitinating enzymes, F-box proteins) and signaling networks (autophagy, ERAD, CRLs, Parkin), as well as to define the ubiquitin-modified proteome. The proteomics platforms developed for interaction proteomics are currently being used to define the interactions across a wide array of human proteins.
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