Herbert Tabor Research Award

Stillman recognized for significant research accomplishments
toward better understanding DNA replication

Bruce Stillman

I am thrilled by this major recognition from ASBMB of contributions made together with many talented students and postdoctoral fellows in figuring out how our genome is inherited.


Bruce Stillman, president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and director of the the CSHL Cancer Center, is the winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Herbert Tabor Research Award. The award recognizes scientists whose excellent research has made major impacts on the field and the scientific community.
As a researcher, Stillman has made foundational discoveries that contributed greatly to our understanding of DNA replication, and as director and president of CSHL for the past 20 years, he has nurtured and developed outstanding programs in cancer, molecular biology, neuroscience, plant biology and genetics/genomics.
Nobel laureate Faculty profile James Watson, who nominated Stillman for the award, said, “In addition to his impressive research record, Bruce has been a leader throughout his career and has made significant contributions to the scientific community.”
Watson noted that Stillman’s studies of SV40 DNA and others projects led “to an understanding of DNA replication mechanisms that duplicate eukaryotic cell chromosomes.” Stillman was able to characterize the mechanism by which chromosomal DNA replication is initiated in yeast and human cells. A third major contribution was Stillman’s clarification of how DNA replication and chromatin assembly are molecularly linked.
Stephen Bell, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and former postdoctoral fellow of Stillman's lab, said that Stillman has led the field of eukaryotic DNA replication into “new important directions.” Stillman’s discoveries have helped scientists better understand diseases, including cancer. His discoveries also have encouraged research in the fields of DNA repair and eukaryotic genomic stability.
“Bruce has also been a generous citizen of science,” said Anindya Dutta, a former postdoctoral fellow in Stillman’s lab and currently the chair of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Virginia, noting that Stillman has trained many young scientists who went on to make significant impacts on the fields of DNA replication, cell cycle and genomic stability. Bell echoed that sentiment, saying: “His students and postdocs have also gone on to become leaders in their own fields.”
Stillman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney and earned a Ph.D. from the Australian National University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the CSHL and has since held many positions there, including his current position as president and chief executive officer. He has received many honors and awards.
Stillman will receive his award during the Experimental Biology 2014 conference in San Diego, where he will deliver the opening lecture of the ASBMB meeting. His presentation will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the San Diego Marriott Marquis Hotel, North Tower, Hall 4. The ASBMB opening reception will follow the lecture.

Natalie OsayandeNatalie Osayande (natalie.osayande@spartans.ut.edu) is an undergraduate at the University of Tampa studying biochemistry.