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Duke Biochemist Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

Lorena S. Beese, PhD, a James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, an advisory organization to the president and Congress composed of experts in all scientific fields. She is one of 72 newly elected members of the NAS.

Beese has contributed both to our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying DNA replication and repair, and to signal transduction enzymes in biological pathways that go awry in cancer.

The broad goal in the Beese Laboratory is to understand biological processes in atomic detail. A key project is creating high-resolution, 3-D structures of enzymes that are promising anti-cancer drug targets and other enzymes in signaling pathways.

Beese employs a multi-disciplinary strategy using macromolecular X-ray crystallography to determine high resolution, three-dimensional images of proteins and appropriate complexes. The structural information is combined with biochemical, genetic, and computational analyses to address questions central to biology and diseases such as cancer.

She received her PhD in Biophysics from Brandeis University, and completed postdoctoral work at Yale University in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

The nation's leaders have often turned to the NAS and the other National Academies for advice on scientific and technological issues that surround policy decisions. The results of these expert deliberations have inspired some of America's most significant and lasting efforts to improve the health, welfare, and education of the population.

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