Mark Ptashne

Mark Steven Ptashne ( born June 5, 1940 in Chicago) is an American molecular biologist and professor at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center.


Ptashne earned a bachelor's degree in 1961 in chemistry at Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1968 and a Ph.D. in molecular biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1971 he was appointed professor of molecular biology and in 1997 a professor at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, New York City.

Ptashne is also a passionate violinist, owner of Stradivarius violin and made with this instrument recordings.


Ptashne made ​​fundamental contributions to the isolation of repressors, which play an important role in the regulation of cellular processes. He succeeded (eg Cro ) to elucidate the interaction between repressors and other proteins, which in turn interact together with the DNA. He was able to describe the three-dimensional structure of repressor and interacting DNA. While initial work on the bacteriophage lambda have been carried out and described in the regulation between lysogenem cycle and lytic cycle, Ptashne could describe later analogous processes in yeast and higher organisms.

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