C Allen Headshot

C. David Allis, PhD

Joy and Jack Fishman Professor
Head, Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics
The Rockefeller University

Dr. C. David Allis’ lab investigates how covalent histone modifications regulate biological processes in a variety of unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic models. Through enzymatic processes such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, and ubiquitylation, histones are believed to function like master on-off switches that determine whether particular genes are active or inactive. Diseases, notably cancer, are often linked to alterations in epigenetic regulators, and insights into the mechanisms that turn particular genes on or off could lead to better treatments.

Dr. Allis earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and his doctorate from Indiana University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Allis joined The Rockefeller University in New York City in 2003. Previously, he held professorships at Baylor College of Medicine, Syracuse University, University of Rochester, and the University of Virginia Health System.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the French Academy of Sciences, Dr. Allis has won numerous awards for his research, including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award in Basic Science, Gruber Genetics Prize, Breakthrough Prize, Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award, and the Massry Prize.

Please note: Recipient titles represent their affiliation at the time of their award.

Grunstein Headshot

Michael Grunstein, PhD

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Biological Chemistry
David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Michael Grunstein's laboratory used genetics, as well as genome-wide and gene-specific biochemical approaches, to study how histones regulate the binding of regulatory enzymes and structural factors to chromatin.

Soon after arriving at UCLA in 1975, Dr. Grunstein and his team pioneered the use of genetics in analyzing histone protein function in yeast. The lab’s findings include the role of histone deacetylation in regulating the timing of DNA replication, the role of deacetylation in gene activity and the genome-wide division of labor for histone deacetylases and histone acetylation sites in yeast.

Born in Romania to Holocaust survivors, Dr. Grunstein moved to Montreal, Canada, as a child. He earned an undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal and his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Grunstein has won numerous awards for his research, including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Gruber Genetics Prize, Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, and the Massry Prize.