Stephen C. Harrison

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Stephen C. Harrison
Professor Stephen Harrison ForMemRS.jpg
Stephen Harrison in 2014, portrait via the Royal Society
Alma mater Harvard University (BA, PhD)

Stephen C. Harrison is professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, professor of pediatrics, and director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics of Harvard Medical School, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.[1]

Education and career[edit]

He received his B.A. in chemistry and physics from Harvard in 1963, and was then a Henry fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge. In 1967, he received his Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard, was a research fellow there as well as a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows, and joined the Harvard faculty in 1971.


His wide-ranging studies of protein structure have contributed insights to viral architecture, DNAprotein recognition, and cellular signaling.

Harrison has made important contributions to structural biology, most notably by determining and analyzing the structures of viruses and viral proteins, by crystallographic analysis of protein–DNA complexes,[2][3] and by structural studies of protein-kinase switching mechanisms.[4] The initiator of high-resolution virus crystallography, he has moved from his early work on tomato bushy stunt virus [5] (1978) to the study of more complex human pathogens, including the capsid of human papillomavirus,[6] the envelope of dengue virus,[7] and several components of HIV.[8] He has also turned some of his research attention to even more complex assemblies, such as clathrin-coated vesicles.[9] He led the Structural Biology team at the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) when it received National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding [10] of around $300 million to address key immunological roadblocks to HIV vaccine development and to design, develop and test novel HIV vaccine candidates.

Society memberships[edit]

He is a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, European Molecular Biology Organization, American Crystallographic Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science.



  1. ^ "Awards - Stephen C. Harrison wins Bristol-Myers Squibb infectious diseases r". 2005-08-22. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  2. ^ Anderson JE, Ptashne M, Harrison SC (1987). "Structure of the repressor-operator complex of bacteriophage 434". Nature 326 (6116): 846–52. doi:10.1038/326846a0. PMID 3553959. 
  3. ^ Ellenberger TE, Brandl CJ, Struhl K, Harrison SC (December 1992). "The GCN4 basic region leucine zipper binds DNA as a dimer of uninterrupted alpha helices: crystal structure of the protein-DNA complex". Cell 71 (7): 1223–37. doi:10.1016/s0092-8674(05)80070-4. PMID 1473154. 
  4. ^ Xu W, Harrison SC, Eck MJ (February 1997). "Three-dimensional structure of the tyrosine kinase c-Src". Nature 385 (6617): 595–602. doi:10.1038/385595a0. PMID 9024657. 
  5. ^ Harrison SC (June 1969). "Structure of tomato bushy stunt virus. I. The spherically averaged electron density". J. Mol. Biol. 42 (3): 457–83. PMID 5804155. 
  6. ^ Modis Y, Trus BL, Harrison SC (September 2002). "Atomic model of the papillomavirus capsid". EMBO J. 21 (18): 4754–62. doi:10.1093/emboj/cdf494. PMC 126290. PMID 12234916. 
  7. ^ Modis Y, Ogata S, Clements D, Harrison SC (January 2004). "Structure of the dengue virus envelope protein after membrane fusion". Nature 427 (6972): 313–9. doi:10.1038/nature02165. PMID 14737159. 
  8. ^ Huang H, Chopra R, Verdine GL, Harrison SC (November 1998). "Structure of a covalently trapped catalytic complex of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase: implications for drug resistance". Science 282 (5394): 1669–75. doi:10.1126/science.282.5394.1669. PMID 9831551. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "NIAID Funds Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI)". 2005-07-14. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  11. ^ "Professor Stephen Harrison ForMemRS".