Orange Alert

Former SU professor named Japan Prize Laureate

Biologist C. David Allis recognized for pioneering work in gene expression

Feb. 4, 2014, by Sarah Scalese

C. David Allis
C. David Allis
From 1990 to 1995, C. David Allis called the biology department in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences home. Today, he is the Joy and Jack Fishman professor at The Rockefeller University in New York City and one of only two scientists in the world to win the 2014 Japan Prize, one of the most prestigious international awards in science and technology.  

Since its inception in 1985, the Japan Prize Foundation has awarded its famed prize to only 81 people from 13 different countries. Allis was awarded the Japan Prize in the Life Science category for his discovery of histone modifications as fundamental regulators of gene expression. According to the foundation, Dr. Allis’ discovery has elucidated how chemical modifications of histone proteins, around which DNA wraps itself in the cell’s nucleus, affect gene expression.

Also head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics at The Rockefeller University, Allis earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in biology from Indiana University.

The Japan Foundation, an organization committed to promoting the advancement of science and technology, awards the Japan Prize every year to scientists and researchers who, regardless of nationality, make substantial contributions to their fields, as well as to peace and prosperity of mankind. This year's categories included "Life Science" and "Electronics, Information, and Communication."

Along with Allis, Yasuharu Suematsu of Japan was awarded the prize for his research on semiconductor lasers for high-capacity, long-distance optical fiber communication.

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Sarah Scalese