Heads of Laboratories
Titia de Lange, Ph.D.
Leon Hess Professor
Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics
The de Lange lab identified a six-subunit protein complex, which they named shelterin, that specifically binds to telomeres. Using Cre-mediated conditional deletion in mouse embryo fibroblasts, Dr. de Lange and her colleagues determined the fate of telomeres lacking one or more of the six shelterin subunits. This work showed that cells lacking shelterin perceive their natural chromosome ends as sites of DNA damage.
Dr. de Lange earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Cancer Institute in 1985. From 1985 to 1990 she was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Harold Varmus at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was one of the first to isolate the telomeres of human chromosomes. She came to Rockefeller in 1990 as assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and professor in 1997. She was named the Leon Hess Professor in 1999 and is an American Cancer Society Research Professor. She is also the director of the university’s Anderson Center for Cancer Research.
Among other awards, Dr. de Lange is the recipient of the 2014 Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2012 Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, the 2012 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Sciences, the 2011 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, the 2010 American Association for Cancer Research Clowes Memorial Award, the 2008 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Prize, the 2005 National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, and the first Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, in 2001. She is an elected member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.
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