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Jan A. Witkowski

Jan A. Witkowski

SBS Professor

Ph.D., University of London, 1972

witkowsk@cshl.edu | (516) 367-8398

Biography   Faculty Profile

My BSc is in zoology from the University of Southampton, UK. However, a new professor, Leslie Brent who worked with Peter Medawar, modernized the curriculum and I took topics in cell and developmental biology, and immunology. I did my Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of London and moved to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School where I carried out research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I subsequently worked on oncogenes at Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, and ran a DNA diagnostics laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

In 1987, I moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to direct the Banbury Center, the small conference center at CSHL. I organized meetings covering the breadth of modern experimental biology as well as societal issues arising from such research. By the time I stepped down in 2017, I had organized over 600 meetings attended by over 12,000 participants. I now work on projects for Bruce Stillman, CSHL President.

I have written and edited 14 books. These include the textbook Recombinant DNA, coauthored with Jim Watson. I was co-editor with Alex Gann of The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix, a new edition of Watson’s classic book. My most recent book is The Road to Discovery: A Short History of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. I have a longstanding interest in the history of science, publishing many papers on the history of genetics, cell biology and developmental biology.

All Publications

C. Thomas Caskey (1938-2022).

11 Mar 2022 | Nature | 603(7901):386
Witkowski, Jan

Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA

18 Apr 2019 | Nature | 568(7752):308-309
Witkowski, J

Direct Diagnostic Tests for Lyme Disease

11 Oct 2018 | Clinical Infectious Diseases | 68(6):1052-1057
Schutzer, S, Body, B, Boyle, J, Branson, B, Dattwyler, R, Fikrig, E, Gerald, N, Gomes-Solecki, M, Kintrup, M, Ledizet, M, Levin, A, Lewinski, M, Liotta, L, Marques, A, Mead, P, Mongodin, E, Pillai, S, Rao, P, Robinson, W, Roth, K, Schriefer, M, Slezak, T, Snyder, J, Steere, A, Witkowski, J, Wong, S, Branda, J

Advances in Serodiagnostic Testing for Lyme Disease Are at Hand

Mar 2018 | Clinical Infectious Diseases | 66(7):1133-1139
Branda, J, Body, B, Boyle, J, Branson, B, Dattwyler, R, Fikrig, E, Gerald, N, Gomes-Solecki, M, Kintrup, M, Ledizet, M, Levin, A, Lewinski, M, Liotta, L, Marques, A, Mead, P, Mongodin, E, Pillai, S, Rao, P, Robinson, W, Roth, K, Schriefer, M, Slezak, T, Snyder, J, Steere, A, Witkowski, J, Wong, S, Schutzer, S

Darwin’s Favorite Journal

11 Feb 2016 | Cell | 164(4):591-592
Witkowski, Jan

The race to decode life

5 Oct 2015 | Current Biology | 25(19):R815-R817
Witkowski, Jan

Redefining genomic privacy: trust and empowerment

Nov 2014 | PLoS Biology | 12(11):e1001983
Erlich, Y, Williams, J, Glazer, D, Yocum, K, Farahany, N, Olson, M, Narayanan, A, Stein, L, Witkowski, J, Kain, R

Molecular genetics: A revolutionary meeting of minds

26 Sep 2013 | Nature | 501(7468):487-488
Witkowski, J

Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize

26 Sep 2013 | Nature | 501(7468):487-488
Witkowski, Jan

DNA: Archives reveal Nobel nominations

25 Apr 2013 | Nature | 496(7446):434
Gann, A, Witkowski, J

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