Principal Investigator

JamesMBergerJames M. Berger

My laboratory’s research is focused on understanding how multi-subunit assemblies use ATP for overcoming topological challenges within the chromosome and controlling the flow of genetic information.  We are particularly interested in developing mechanistic models that explain how macromolecular machines transduce chemical energy into force and motion, and in determining how cells exploit these complexes and their activities for regulating the initiation of DNA replication, chromosome superstructure, and other essential nucleic acid transactions.  Our principal approaches rely on a variety of structural, biochemical, and biophysical methods to define the architecture, function, evolution, and regulation of biological complexes. We also have extensive interests in mechanistic enzymology and the study of small-molecule inhibitors of therapeutic potential, the development of chemical approaches to trapping weak protein/protein and protein/nucleic acid interactions, and in using microfluidics for biochemical investigations of protein dynamics and structure.

Current Members

afif bandak

Afif Bandak

PMB Student

James M. Berger


Glenn Hauk

Postdoctoral Fellow

Matthew Hobson

PMB Student

Ilan Attali

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee

BCMB Student
Matthew Parker

Matthew Parker

Postdoctoral Fellow
Michael Lawson

Diego Ramos

Research Technologist

Daniel Richman

Postdoctoral Fellow

Arman Siddiqui

PMB Student, Berger

Cherine Yan

Research Specialist


Awards/ Honors

Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship –  Jim Keck
Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship – Scott Gradia
Berkeley Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship –  Erin Cunningham, Franziska Bleichert
EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship – Alessandro Costa, Tim Blower
Spanish Ministry of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship – Ernesto Arias-Palomo
Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship – Philip Kranzusch
American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship – Scott Classen, Jeff Lerman, Artem Lyubimov
Kirschstein-NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Valerie O’Shea, Matthew Parker, Joyce Lee
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship – Rachel Fennell-Fezzie, Kevin Corbett, Allyn Schoeffler, Melissa Mott, Seychelle Vos, Michael Lawson, Tim Wendorff, Michael Lawson
DOE Graduate Research Fellowship – Iris Hood
Berkeley Outstanding GSI Award – Jan Erzberger, Kevin Corbett, Allyn Schoeffler, Nathan Thomsen, Melissa Mott, Bryan Schmidt
Alan Bearden Graduate Award – Kevin Corbett, Nathan Thomsen
Harold Weintraub Graduate Award – Jacob Corn
Carpenter Award for Academic Excellence (Undergraduate) – David Mai
HHMI Biology Fellows Award (Undergraduate) – Heather McFarlane, David Mai, Clement Chu, Francisco Solorio
Fullbright Scholar, GSI Award – Michael Lawson


Alumni (Has your present status changed? Let me know!)

Post-doctoral fellows:
David Akey; Research Investigator – University of Michigan Medical School – Ann Arbor
Scott Classen; Beamline scientist, BL12.3.1 – ALS, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Alessandro Costa; Group Leader – Cancer Research UK, Clare Hall, UK
Kevin Jude; Staff Research Scientist, Stanford University
Erin Cunningham (Dueber); Group Leader – Genentech, Inc
Deborah Fass; Professor – Weizmann Institute of Science
Scott Gradia; Director of Research – Caribou Biosciences
James Keck; Professor – University of Wisconsin – Madison
Jeff Lerman; Ontology Engineer – Ingenuity Systems, Inc.
Jinyu Liu; Scientist – Plexxicon, Inc.
Marcelo Nollmann; Charge de Recherche – CNRS, France
Emmanuel Skordalakes; Associate Professor – Wistar Institute
Imsang Lee; Senior Scientist – CJ Cheil Jedang, South Korea
Artem Lyubimov; Staff Research Scientist, Stanford University
Valerie O’Shea; Technical Specialist; Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox
Ernesto Arias-Palomo; Group Leader, Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CIB), Madrid, Spain
Franziska Bleichert; Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI), Basel, Switzerland
Philip Kranzusch; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Timothy Blower; Reader, Durham University, UK

Graduate students:

Thomas Murray; Patent Technical Specialist at LeClairRyan
Timothy Wendorff; Senior Scientific Researcher, Genetech
Michael Lawson; Postdoctoral Fellow – St. Joseph Puglisi, Stanford
Iris Hood; Postdoctoral Fellow – National Institutes of Health
Alexia S. Miller; Patent Technical Specialist – LECLAIR/RYAN
Andy Antczak; Patent Scientist/Engineer – Townsend and Townsend and Crew
Kevin Corbett; Assistant Professor, UC San Diego
Jacob Corn; Scientist/Group Leader – Genentech
Ken Dong; Scientist/Group Leader -Plexxicon, Inc.
Jan Erzberger; Post-doctoral fellow – ETH, Switzerland
Rachel Fennell-Fezzie; Advisory Scientist – Strategic Analysis Inc.
Melissa Mott – University of Chicago Medical School
Cary Lai (joint w/ Collins lab)
Richard Rymer Post-doctoral fellow – University of Nottingham
Bryan Schmidt, Post-doctoral fellow – UCSF&
Allyn Schoeffler; Staff Researcher – Genentech
Nathan Thomsen; Post-doctoral fellow – UCSF
Elsa Tretter; Associate Scientist, Nurix, Inc.
Shellie Weisfield – Instructor, Oakland College Preparatory School

Research Associates:
Anette Bruun; Laboratory Technician – Haemostasis Biochemistry, Denmark&
Stephanie Capaldi; Laboratory Manager/Instuctor – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nancy Crisona; retired
Mary Coons; Laboratory Technician – Caribou Bioscience
Kristen DeAngelis; Post-doctoral fellow – LBNL
Dorothy Kim; Graduate Student – Columbia University

Francisco Solorio – HHMI Undergraduate Fellowship recipient
Kevin Cheung
Matt Krietzberg
Song Qu
Esther Choi
Chih-Yih (Andy) Liao – Honors thesis, MCB Outstanding Poster Award
David Mai -Honors thesis, HHMI Undergraduate Fellowship recipient, Jesse Rabinowitz  Prize in Biochemistry
Noopur Batsha Heather McFarlane ‘“ HHMI Undergraduate Fellowship recipient
Jamie Lo
Anobel Odisho
Clement Chu – HHMI Undergraduate Summer Fellowship recipient; NSF pre-doctoral fellowship recipient
Stuart Sievers – Honors thesis
Ray Nagatani – Honors thesis
Vikas Mehta
Eric Cheung
Matthew Nichols