Bruce Stillman is well known for his analysis of eukaryotic DNA replication and inheritance of chromosomes. He identified and characterised many cellular proteins that are required for the replication of some viruses and for cell DNA replication. He showed that multiple DNA polymerases are required for copying both strands of the double helix and determined how accessory proteins assist in this process, reconstituting DNA replication with purified proteins. He identified and characterised a human chromatin assembly factor that assembles nucleosomes in a replication-dependent reaction, and showed that it is required for epigenetic inheritance and cell fate determination during development.
His discovery of the origin recognition complex in yeast was a major landmark in studies of eukaryotic DNA replication. This discovery facilitated detailed biochemical investigation of the entire process of initiation of chromosome duplication and how it is controlled during the cell cycle, resulting in reconstitution of the initiation of DNA replication with purified proteins. In related studies, Bruce has demonstrated that the origin recognition complex is required for chromosome segregation, functioning at centrosomes and centromeres.
President & Chief Executive Officer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory