Crick emeritus scientist Tomas Lindahl has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 'distinguished contributions to the to the study of DNA repair mechanisms, deepening the understanding of inherited genetic disorders, the causes of cancer, and the aging process.'
Tomas is the only UK-based scientist to be elected as an AAAS Fellow this year, in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements. AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world.
Tomas said: "I am very pleased and honoured to become an AAAS Fellow, emphasising the international collaborations in our field of research."
Tomas Robert Lindahl FRS FMedSci, born 28 January 1938, is a Swedish scientist specialising in DNA damage and repair. From 1986 to 2005 he was director of the Clare Hall laboratories, which became part of the Crick in April 2015. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015, with Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar, for 'mechanistic studies of DNA repair'. He was awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 2007 and the Copley Medal in 2010, and the INSERM Prix Etranger in 2009.
Tomas Lindahl's Mutagenesis Laboratory at Clare Hall characterised different DNA repair pathways in a long-term project to provide better understanding of the cellular defence mechanisms against damage to the human genome.
Damaged sites in the chromosomal DNA can result in cell death or cancer, but may be corrected by DNA repair enzymes prior to phenotypic expression. The properties of several nuclear enzymes that remove harmful lesions or local aberrant structures from DNA have been investigated. The absence of such DNA repair factors may result in an increased frequency of malignant transformation, or in some cases may be detected as immunological deficiencies.
Tomas closed his lab at Clare Hall in 2009 but remains an Emeritus Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.