Marvin A. Brennecke Professorship in Biological Chemistry

Marvin A. Brennecke, M.D. grew up in Jackson, a small town in southeastern Mo., whose residents donated $5,000 to send Brennecke to medical school. After two years of medical school at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Brennecke transferred to Washington University and graduated in 1930. He served an internship at Missouri Baptist Medical Center before moving to Hawaii where he stayed until his death in 1994. Brennecke realized the importance of basic science research, and through a living trust, donated funds to support three endowed professorships: the Marvin A. Brennecke Chair in Molecular Microbiology, the Marvin A. Brennecke Chair in Biological Chemistry and the Brennecke Chair in Biophysics.


Professorship in Biological Chemistry

The Marvin A. Brennecke Chair in Biological Chemistry is currently held by Professor Peter Burgers. Burgers received his B.Sc. in biochemistry in 1969, his M.S. in organic chemistry in 1972 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1977, all from the State University of Leiden in The Netherlands. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships: one at the Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine from 1977-80 and another at Stanford University from 1980-82. Burgers joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University in 1982 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and to professor in 1995. His research interests include DNA replication and DNA damage response mechanisms in yeast and in human cells. Specifically, his lab is attempting to understand the functions of nuclear DNA polymerases at the replication fork under normal replication conditions, and how these functions are altered during replication stress or in response to DNA damage. He is the author of more than 150 papers. In 2010, he received an honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Umea in Sweden and also became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.