Paul Berg- 2006 Carl Sagan Prize Recipient

For about 10 years until 2000, my lab’s research activities were focused on the mechanism of recombinational repair of double-strand breaks in DNA. We focused our efforts on two model systems: one involved the repair of restriction enzyme cleavages at specific mammalian chromosomal loci and the second explored the biochemical properties of purified yeast Rad51 protein, an essential catalyst for synapsing the broken ends of DNA with an intact homologue of that sequence. We also explored the roles of Rad52 and PRA (single-strand DNA binding protein) in the repair process.In 2000, I became Emeritus Professor in Biochemistry and stepped down from the Directorship of the Beckman Center. Much of my activities since then have been involved in writing a biography of the genetics pioneer George Beadle, published in 2003, plus articles for other publications elaborating on Beadle’s legacy for today’s science. Over the years I have been and continue to be an activist in public policy issues affecting biomedical issues, e.g. recombinant DNA and more recently, issues concerning embryonic stem cells. Selected Publications

  • Saxonov S, Berg P, Brutlag DL “A genome-wide analysis of CpG dinucleotides in the human genome distinguishes two distinct classes of promoters.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006;
  • Berg, P, “Brilliant Science, Dark Politics, Uncertain Law” Jurimetrics 2006; 46
  • Berg P, “Origins of the human genome project: why sequence the human genome when 96% of it is junk?” Am J Hum Genet 2006; 79: 4: 603-5
  • Berg P, “Reflections on the Lasker prize for basic biomedical research.” JAMA 2005; 294: 11: 1419-20
  • Berg,P., Singer, M. “George Beadle: From Genes to Proteins” Nature Reviews Genetics 2005; January