Richard H. Ebright

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Richard H. Ebright
Born (1959-06-11) June 11, 1959 (age 60)
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, Molecular Biology

Richard H. Ebright is an American molecular biologist. He is the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University and Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Richard H. Ebright was born on 11 June 1959 to Richard Jerome Ebright and Jacqueline Katherine Ebright. His father died when he was in third grade. Ebright received an A.B. summa cum laude in biology from Harvard University in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University in 1987. He was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1984 to 1987.


Ebright was appointed as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Rutgers University and as a Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology in 1987. He was co-appointed as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1997 to 2013.

Ebright has performed research on protein-DNA interaction,[3] transcription initiation,[4][5][6] transcription activation,[7][8] and antibacterial drug discovery.[9][10][11][12][13][14] Ebright's research results include the experimental demonstration that amino-acid-base contacts mediate DNA sequence recognition in protein–DNA interaction,[3] the determination of the three-dimensional structural organization of the transcription initiation complex;[4] the demonstration that initial transcription involves a "DNA scrunching" mechanism;[5][6] the demonstration that transcription activation can proceed by a "recruitment" mechanism;[7][8] and the identification of novel antibacterial drug targets in bacterial RNA polymerase.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

In 1994 Ebright was awarded the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Schering-Plough Award for his research on transcription activation.[15] In 1995 he received the Academic Press Walter J. Johnson Prize.[16] In 2013 he received a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award.[17] He was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 1996,[18] the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004,[19] the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2011,[20] and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.[21]

Ebright has opposed the proliferation of laboratories working on biological weapons agents[22] and has supported the strengthening of biosafety and biosecurity measures to reduce risks of release of biological weapons.[23]

Ebright has opposed affirmative action, claiming that affirmative action by universities is racist.[24][25]

Notable publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Ebright, Richard H." Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "Dr. Richard H. Ebright". Waksman Institute, Rutgers University. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Ebright, R. H.; Cossart, P.; Gicquel-Sanzey, B.; Beckwith, J. (1984). "Mutations that alter the DNA sequence specificity of the catabolite gene activator protein of E. coli". Nature. 311 (5983): 232–235. doi:10.1038/311232a0. PMID 6090927.
  4. ^ a b Zhang, Y.; Feng, Y.; Chatterjee, S.; Tuske, S.; Ho, M. X.; Arnold, E.; Ebright, R. H. (2012). "Structural Basis of Transcription Initiation". Science. 338 (6110): 1076–80. doi:10.1126/science.1227786. PMC 3593053. PMID 23086998.
  5. ^ a b Kapanidis, A. N.; Margeat, E.; Ho, S. O.; Kortkhonjia, E.; Weiss, S.; Ebright, R. H. (2006). "Initial transcription by RNA polymerase proceeds through a DNA-scrunching mechanism". Science. 314: 1144–1147. doi:10.1126/science.1131399. PMC 2754788. PMID 17110578.
  6. ^ a b Revyakin, A.; Liu, C.; Ebright, R. H.; Strick, T. (2006). "Abortive initiation and productive initiation by RNA polymerase involve DNA scrunching". Science. 314 (5802): 1139–1143. doi:10.1126/science.1131398. PMC 2754787. PMID 17110577.
  7. ^ a b Benoff, B.; Yang, H.; Lawson, C. L.; Parkinson, G.; Liu, J.; Blatter, E.; Ebright, Y. W.; Berman, H. M.; Arnold, E.; Ebright, R. H. (2002). "Structural basis of transcription activation: the CAP-alphaCTD-DNA complex". Science. 297 (5586): 1562–1566. doi:10.1126/science.1076376. PMID 12202833.
  8. ^ a b Feng, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Ebright, R. H. (2016). "Structural basis of transcription activation". Science. 352 (6291): 1330–1333. doi:10.1126/science.aaf4417. PMC 4905602. PMID 27284196.
  9. ^ a b Mukhopadhyay, J.; Das, K.; Ismail, S.; Koppstein, D.; Jang, M.; Hudson, B.; Sarafianos, S.; Tuske, S.; Patel, J.; Jansen, R.; Irschik, H.; Arnold, E. & Ebright, R. H. (2008). "The RNA polymerase "switch region" is a target for inhibitors". Cell. 135 (2): 295–307. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.09.033. PMC 2580802. PMID 18957204.
  10. ^ a b Zhang, Y.; Degen, D.; Ho, M. X.; Sineva, E.; Ebright, K.; Ebright, Y. W.; Mekler, V.; Vahedian-Movahed, H.; Feng, Y.; Yin, R.; Tuske, S.; Irschik, H.; Jansen, R.; Maffioli, S.; Donadio, S.; Arnold, E.; Ebright, R. H. (2014). "GE23077 binds to the RNA polymerase 'i' and 'i+1' sites and prevents the binding of initiating nucleotides". eLife. 3: e02450. doi:10.7554/eLife.02450. PMC 3994528. PMID 24755292.
  11. ^ a b Degen, D.; Feng, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Ebright, K.; Ebright, Y.; Gigliotti, M.; Vahedian-Movahed, H.; Mandal, S.; Talaue, M.; Connell, N.; Arnold, E.; Fenical, W.; Ebright, R. (2014). "Transcription inhibition by the depsipeptide antibiotic salinamide A". eLife. 3: e02451. doi:10.7554/eLife.02451. PMC 4029172. PMID 24843001.
  12. ^ a b Lin, W.; Mandal, S.; Degen, D.; Liu, Y.; Ebright, Y. W.; Li. S.; Feng, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Mandal, S.; Jiang, Y.; Liu, S.; Gigliotti, M.; Talaue, M.; Connell, N.; Das, K.; Arnold, E. & Ebright, R. H. (2017). "Structural basis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transcription and transcription inhibition". Mol. Cell. 66: 169–179. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2017.03.001. PMC 5438085. PMID 28392175.
  13. ^ a b Maffioli, S.; Zhang, Y.; Degen, D.; Carzaniga, T.; Del Gatto, G.; Serina, S.; Monciardini, P.; Mazzetti, C.; Guglierame, P.; Candiani, G.; Chiriac, A. I.; Facchetti, G.; Kaltofen, P.; Sahl, H.-G.; Dehò, G.; Donadio, S. & Ebright, R. H. (2017). "Antibacterial nucleoside-analog inhibitor of bacterial RNA polymerase". Cell. 169 (7): 1240–1248. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.042. PMC 5542026. PMID 28622509.
  14. ^ a b Lin, W.; Das, K.; Degen, D.; Mazumder, A.; Duchi, D.; Wang, D.; Ebright, Y.; Ebright, R.Y.; Sineva, E.; Gigliotti, M.; Srivastava, A.; Mandal, S.; Jiang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Yin, R.; Zhang, Z.; Eng, E.; Thomas, D.; Donadio, S.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, C.; Kapanidis, A. & Ebright, R. H. (2018). "Structural basis of transcription inhibition by fidaxomicin (lipiarmycin A3)". Mol. Cell. 70 (1): 60–71. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2018.02.026. PMC 6205224. PMID 29606590.
  15. ^ "ASBMB/Schering-Plough Research Institute Award". Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "The Walter J. Johnson Prize, 1995". Journal of Molecular Biology. 251 (3): 329. 1995. PMID 7650734.
  17. ^ "Gifts & Grants". Rutgers University Faculty and Staff Bulletin. June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "American Academy of Microbiology Fellowship Directory". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "AAAS Council Honors 308 Members for Their Contributions to Science" (Press release). AAAS. November 1, 2004. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Congratulations, New IDSA Fellows!". IDSA News. July–August 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  21. ^ "American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects 213 National and International Scholars, Artists, Philanthropists, and Business and Civic Leaders" (Press release). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  22. ^ Connell, N.; Ebright, R. H. (2002). "Bioweapon agents: more access means more risk". Nature. 415 (6870): 364. Bibcode:2002Natur.415..364E. doi:10.1038/415364b. PMID 11807521.
  23. ^ Ebright, R. H. (2012). "Mitigate the risks of release". Nature. 481: 257–259. doi:10.1038/481257a. PMID 22246325.
  24. ^ Ebright, Richard H. (2017-08-03). "Only racists support racial discrimination. "Affirmative action" is systematic, institutional racial discrimination". @R_H_Ebright. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  25. ^ Ebright, Richard H. (2017-08-02). "Poor analogy. A ramp does not deny rights to anyone. Affirmative action--institutional discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or sex--does". @R_H_Ebright. Retrieved 2017-08-08.

External links[edit]