2017 Gruber Genetics Prize Citation

The Gruber Foundation proudly presents the 2017 Genetics Prize to Stephen Elledge for discovering and characterizing the molecular mechanisms of the DNA damage response pathway in eukaryotic cells, findings critical for understanding pathogenesis and developing therapies for cancer and other diseases.

Dr. Elledge used clever genetic screens in yeast to identify mechanisms by which cells sense DNA damage and direct effector molecules to initiate efforts to repair the damage and halt progression of the cell cycle until repair is completed. He also showed that this process is conserved in mammals, with orthologous genes playing similar roles. Mutations in many of these genes drive cancer in humans, while others contribute to premature aging or neurological disorders.