Titia de Lange, a biochemist who studies the protective ends of chromosomes known as telomeres, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, a highly prestigious honor presented annually by Brandeis University. She is recognized for her elucidation of the mechanism of telomere protection and the maintenance of genome stability.
de Lange, who is Leon Hess Professor and head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, is known for her discovery of the mechanisms by which telomeres repress DNA repair and damage responses that mistake chromosome ends for DNA breaks that need to be fixed. Her work has revealed how telomeres protect and preserve DNA, defining processes that are crucial for understanding the aging process and the development of diseases such as cancer.
The Rosenstiel Award, established in 1971, honors exceptional basic scientists who have made discoveries to advance medicine. Previous Rockefeller recipients include C. David Allis in 2010, Fernando Nottebohm in 2003, Roderick MacKinnon in 1999, A. James Hudspeth in 1996, Robert Roeder in 1994, Paul Nurse is 1992, and Torsten Wiesel in 1971.