James M. Berger, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. James Berger serves as the director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences (IBBS) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is also a Professor of Biophysics and co-director of the Cancer Chemical and Structural Biology Program for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Berger currently holds the Michael and Anne Hankin and Brown Advisory Professorship in Scientific Innovation. Dr. Berger joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2013. Prior to that, her served on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a Whitehead Fellow in biomedical research at MIT.

Dr. Berger studies the molecular machines that control DNA replication and chromosome organization. His elucidation of the structure of essential enzymes such as DNA topoisomerases and helicases have revealed how chemical energy is transduced into force to control DNA topology, and how these machines are targeted by chemotherapeutic agents. He has trained more than 40 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to careers in academia, biotechnology and other industries. Dr. Berger has authored more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, and he currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Molecular Biology and Elife.

Dr. Berger has is the recipient of several notable prizes, including a David and Lucille Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the American Chemical Society Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-Schering Plough Research Institute Scientific Achievement Award, the David A. Shirley Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, and the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

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