Tools of molecular biology allow us to analyze the structure, function, and evolution of eukaryotic nucleic acids. Currently, there are two main projects in which we are involved: DNA Replication and Ribosomal RNA.

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Susan A. Gerbi is the George Eggleston Professor of Biochemistry at Brown University. She obtained her Ph.D. with Dr. Joseph Gall at Yale University in 1970, where they developed the method of in situ hybridization for localization of genes on chromosomes. After a two year postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany, she joined the faculty at Brown University. She has two major research projects:

(1) Initiation of DNA Replication – her lab has devised a method to map the start site of DNA replication at the nucleotide level (Bielinsky and Gerbi, Science 1998). Application of this method to yeast (Bielinsky and Gerbi, Molecular Cell 1999) and higher organisms (Bielinsky et al., Current Biology 2001) revealed that DNA synthesis starts directly next to the binding site for the Origin Recognition Complex of six polypeptides. Her research in progress suggests that a steroid hormone receptor may play a direct role for initiation of DNA replication; this may lead to significant understanding of the role of hormones in certain cancers.

(2) Ribosome Structure, Evolution and Biogenesis – studies in the Gerbi lab demonstrated that certain sequences are evolutionarily conserved, even between bacteria and higher organisms, thus pinpointing regions of functional importance in ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Her lab was the first to show that small nucleolar RNA is required for rRNA processing. Their recent investigations (summarized in Gerbi et al., Curr. Opin. Cell Dev. Biol. 2003), opens the possibility for a new class of antibiotics targeted against eukaryotic pathogens.

Dr. Gerbi has received several honors for her research, including the State of Rhode Island Governor's award for Scientific Excellence and election as President of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Dr. Gerbi is also very active in biomedical Ph.D. training. For over 20 years, she has been the Principal Investigator of the NIH training grant in Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry; this interdisciplinary program involves faculty from 9 departments on the Brown campus and affiliated hospitals. Dr. Gerbi has served on NIH study sections reviewing training grants and participated in NIH workshops about training and careers. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on a Study of National Needs for Biomedical Research Personnel and has testified about graduate education before both the House and Senate subcommittees on Appropriations. She chaired the FASEB conference on graduate education, was a founding member and served on the steering committee and as chair of the AAMC Graduate Research Education and Training (GREAT) Group, and has published several articles about the biomedical research workforce (e.g., Gerbi et al., Science 2001; Garrison, Gerbi and Kincade, FASEB J 2003).

Curricum Vitae

Download Susan Gerbi's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format

SUSAN GERBI, Ph.D., Yale University, 1970
Professor of Biology and George Eggleston Professor of Biochemistry
Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, & Biochemistry
Phone: +1 401 863 2359
E-mail: Susan_Gerbi@Brown.EDU

Susan Gerbi's Brown Research URL:

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Susan A. Gerbi
ribosomal RNA

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