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Bruce Stillman named President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Bruce Stillman

James D. Watson Appointed Chancellor

Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., FRS, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, by vote of its Board of Trustees on November 8, 2003. Stillman, an internationally renowned researcher, has directed the Laboratory since 1994.

James D. Watson, the 1962 Nobel Laureate who has served as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s President since 1994, spent nearly 25 years as Director of the Laboratory. Through a simultaneous vote, Watson was named Chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, reflecting his continuing role in supporting the Laboratory’s educational mission through its programs for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, especially through its Watson School of Biological Sciences, named after him at its inception in 1998.

A native of Australia, Dr. Stillman moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1979 and has been at the Laboratory ever since, being promoted to the scientific staff in 1981. Dr. Stillman has been Director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1992, a position he still holds; in 1994, he succeeded Dr. James D. Watson as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Through this vote, Dr. Stillman replaces Watson as President and maintains his position as the Chief Executive Officer of the 113-year-old research facility.

Dr. Stillman’s research focuses on the mechanism and regulation of DNA replication in eukaryotes, a process that ensures accurate inheritance of genetic material from one cell generation to the next. He has contributed to the elucidation of the mechanism of DNA replication in cells by studying DNA tumor viruses. This research led to the discovery of many DNA replication proteins that function to replicate the human genome. In addition to this work, Dr. Stillman studies the mechanism and control of genome duplication in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. His laboratory has elucidated the fine structure of chromosome origins of DNA replication and identified proteins that bind to these sequences. One of these is the initiator protein called the Origin Recognition Complex that facilitates initiation of chromosome replication. Other research in Dr. Stillman’s laboratory focuses on the inheritance of chromatin. Chromatin consists of DNA and proteins that make up the chromosomes that are inherited during cell division.

For these research accomplishments, Dr. Stillman has received a number of honors including election as a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1993. In 1999, Dr. Stillman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to scientific research in the field of molecular biology. Dr. Stillman was elected in 2000 to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He has also received three honorary doctorates.

Written by: Public Affairs | | 516-367-8455

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About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit