Michael Botchan

Job title: 
Dean of Biological Sciences, Professor
Molecular & Cell Biology

I received a PhD in Biophysics here at Berkeley studying in the Chemistry department. I discovered the rapidly renaturing "satellite " DNA in drosophila (Dm) and showed that they are located in the heterochromatin. I left posit doc at Cold Spring Harbor Labs and became a virologists studying SV-40 and Adenoviruses. My work there showed that these Viruses integrate without specificity in cells they transformed where replication was non-permissive or very weak. I cloned the first tumor viral chromosomal DNA as showed that the sequences at the junctions were the results of end joining. In Wass, I was the first Post-doc to be promoted at CSHL to the rolling 5 tenure position but came back to UCB in 1979. I began work on Papilloam viruses as they transformed cells causing precancerous lesions without integrating. My group unraveled the mechanism of PV replication discovering the origin of replication and the helicase virally encoded and developed an cell free system to study replication. We then started work on chromosomes were we used Dm as a model for eukaryotes. We showed that the ORC complex (first discovered at CSHL in Yeat) was universally conserved and solved it's crystal structure with James Berger. We used biochemical assess to uncover the cellar helicase that we called the CMG For CDC45/Mcm2-7 and the GINS v=complex). The CMG is also universally found in all Eukaryotes.

For full research description, please visit Mike's Faculty Profile.

Research interests: 

eukaryotic gene expressiondrosophila chromosomespapilloma viral DNAchromosomal dynamics