Robin Holliday


Robin Holliday

Robin Holliday proposed a mechanism of DNA-strand exchange that attempted to explain gene-conversion events that occur during meiosis in fungi. That model first proposed in 1964 is now known as the Holliday Junction.

Education and Employment

Robin Holliday holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, and holds the 1987 Lord Cohen medal for Gerontological research. He was formerly the Head of the Genetics Division, National Institute for Medical Research, (Medical Research Council), Mill Hill, London, UK, and is now retired Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of BioMolecular Engineering, Sydney, Australia.

Current Work

In 1975 he suggested that DNA methylation could be an important mechanism for the control of gene expression in higher organisms, and this has now become documented as a basic epigenetic mechanism in normal and also cancer cells. In 1988 he moved to a CSIRO laboratory in Sydney, Australia, where he continued to study ageing, and his book Understanding Ageing was published in 1995. The main focus of his experimental work was the epigenetic control of gene expression by DNA methylation in CHO cells. These experiments provide direct evidence that DNA methylation is a primary cause of gene silencing in mammalian cells.

Publications

Robin Holliday is the author of numerous books and edited proceedings of conferences, including; The Science of Human Progress, Oxford University Press, 1981; Genes, Proteins and Cellular Aging, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1986; Understanding Aging, Cambridge University Press, 1995; Slaves and Saviours, Blackwall Books, 2000 and Why We Age, Springer Science + Business Media, 2007.


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