Tomas Lindahl

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Tomas Lindahl
Tomas Lindahl 0113.jpg
Tomas Lindahl at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2015)
Tomas Robert Lindahl

(1938-01-28) 28 January 1938 (age 85)[1]
Stockholm, Sweden
NationalitySwedish, naturalised British
(dual nationality)
Alma mater
Known forClarification of cellular resistance to carcinogens
Scientific career
ThesisOn the structure and stability of nucleic acids in solution (1967)
InfluencesWalter Bodmer

Tomas Robert Lindahl FRS[3] FMedSci[5] (born 28 January 1938) is a Swedish-British scientist specialising in cancer research.[7] In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry[8] jointly with American chemist Paul L. Modrich and Turkish chemist Aziz Sancar for mechanistic studies of DNA repair.[9][10][11]


Lindahl was born in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden to Folke Robert Lindahl and Ethel Hulda Hultberg.[12] He received a PhD degree in 1967,[13] and an MD degree qualification in 1970, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.[1]

Career and research[edit]

After obtaining his research doctorate, Lindahl did postdoctoral research at Princeton University and Rockefeller University.[14] He was professor of medical chemistry at the University of Gothenburg 1978–82. After moving to the United Kingdom he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) as a researcher in 1981.[14] From 1986 to 2005 he was the first Director of Cancer Research UK's Clare Hall Laboratories in Hertfordshire, since 2015 part of the Francis Crick Institute.[15] He continued to research there until 2009. He has contributed to many papers on DNA repair and the genetics of cancer.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

Awards and honours[edit]

Lindahl was elected an EMBO Member in 1974[2] and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1988,[4] his certificate of election reads:

Dr. Tomas Lindahl is noted for his contributions to the comprehension of DNA repair at the molecular level in bacterial and mammalian cells. He was the first to isolate a mammalian DNA ligase and to describe a totally unanticipated novel group of DNA glycosylases as mediators of DNA excision repair. He has also discovered a unique class of enzymes in mammalian cells, namely the methyltransferases, which mediate the adaptive response to alkylation of DNA and has shown that the expression of these enzymes is regulated by the ada gene. More recently he has elucidated the molecular defect in Blooms syndrome [sic] to be the lack of DNA ligase I. Apart from providing profound insights into the nature of the DNA repair process his very important contributions promise to facilitate the design of more selective chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of cancer. Lindahl has also made a number of significant contributions to understanding at the DNA level the mechanism of transformation of B-lymphocytes by the Epstein-Barr virus. The most notable of these was the first description of the occurrence in lymphoid cells of closed circular duplex viral DNA.[3]

Lindahl received the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 2007 "making fundamental contributions to our understanding of DNA repair. His achievements stand out for their great originality, breadth and lasting influence."[25] He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.[26] He was awarded the Copley Medal in 2010. He was elected a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 1998. In 2018, he was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015.[9] The Swedish Academy noted that "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar 'for mechanistic studies of DNA repair'."[27]


  1. ^ a b "LINDAHL, Tomas Robert". Who's Who. Vol. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Tomas Lindahl EMBO profile". Heidelberg: European Molecular Biology Organization.
  3. ^ a b c "Lindahl, Tomas Robert: EC/1988/20". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b Anon (1988). "Dr Tomas Lindahl FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived September 25, 2015)

  5. ^ a b "Dr Tomas Lindahl FRS FMedSci". London: Academy of Medical Sciences. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015.
  6. ^ Lindahl, Tomas (2013). "My Journey to DNA Repair". Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics. 11 (1): 2–7. doi:10.1016/j.gpb.2012.12.001. ISSN 1672-0229. PMC 4357663. PMID 23453014.
  7. ^ "Emeritus Scientist - Tomas Lindahl". The Crick. Archived from the original on 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ Tomas Lindahl - Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 on Vimeo
  9. ^ a b Broad, William J. (7 October 2015). "Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for DNA Studies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  10. ^ Staff (7 October 2015). "THE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY 2015 – DNA repair – providing chemical stability for life" (PDF). Nobel Prize. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  11. ^ Cressey, Daniel (2015). "DNA repair sleuths win chemistry Nobel: Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar share 2015 prize". Nature. 526 (7573): 307–8. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18515. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 26469021.
  12. ^ Sweden, Indexed Birth Records, 1860–1941
  13. ^ Lindahl, Tomas (1967). On the structure and stability of nucleic acids in solution. Stockholm.
  14. ^ a b "Cancer Research UK Grants & Research – Tomas Lindahl". Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  15. ^ "4 ways that Tomas Lindahl’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry revolutionised cancer research", by Emma Smith, CRUK Science blog, 7 October 2015
  16. ^ Gerken, T. is; Girard, C. A.; Tung, Y. -C. L.; Webby, C. J.; Saudek, V.; Hewitson, K. S.; Yeo, G. S. H.; McDonough, M. A.; Cunliffe, S.; McNeill, L. A.; Galvanovskis, J.; Rorsman, P.; Robins, P.; Prieur, X.; Coll, A. P.; Ma, M.; Jovanovic, Z.; Farooqi, I. S.; Sedgwick, B.; Barroso, I.; Lindahl, T.; Ponting, C. P.; Ashcroft, F. M.; O'Rahilly, S.; Schofield, C. J. (2008). "The Obesity-Associated FTO Gene Encodes a 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Nucleic Acid Demethylase". Science. 318 (5855): 1469–1472. Bibcode:2007Sci...318.1469G. doi:10.1126/science.1151710. PMC 2668859. PMID 17991826.
  17. ^ Tomas Lindahl's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Lindahl, T. (1993). "Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA". Nature. 362 (6422): 709–15. Bibcode:1993Natur.362..709L. doi:10.1038/362709a0. PMID 8469282. S2CID 4283694.
  19. ^ Wood, R. D. (2001). "Human DNA Repair Genes". Science. 291 (5507): 1284–9. Bibcode:2001Sci...291.1284W. doi:10.1126/science.1056154. PMID 11181991.
  20. ^ Satoh, M. S.; Lindahl, T. (1992). "Role of poly(ADP-ribose) formation in DNA repair". Nature. 356 (6367): 356–8. Bibcode:1992Natur.356..356S. doi:10.1038/356356a0. PMID 1549180. S2CID 4364270.
  21. ^ Trewick, S. C.; Henshaw, T. F.; Hausinger, R. P.; Lindahl, T; Sedgwick, B (2002). "Oxidative demethylation by Escherichia coli AlkB directly reverts DNA base damage". Nature. 419 (6903): 174–8. Bibcode:2002Natur.419..174T. doi:10.1038/nature00908. PMID 12226667. S2CID 4324333.
  22. ^ Barnes, D. E.; Lindahl, T (2004). "Repair and genetic consequences of endogenous DNA base damage in mammalian cells". Annual Review of Genetics. 38: 445–76. doi:10.1146/annurev.genet.38.072902.092448. PMID 15568983.
  23. ^ Yang, Y. G.; Lindahl, T; Barnes, D. E. (2007). "Trex1 exonuclease degrades ssDNA to prevent chronic checkpoint activation and autoimmune disease". Cell. 131 (5): 873–86. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.10.017. PMID 18045533. S2CID 2332259.
  24. ^ Crow, Y. J.; Hayward, B. E.; Parmar, R; Robins, P; Leitch, A; Ali, M; Black, D. N.; Van Bokhoven, H; Brunner, H. G.; Hamel, B. C.; Corry, P. C.; Cowan, F. M.; Frints, S. G.; Klepper, J; Livingston, J. H.; Lynch, S. A.; Massey, R. F.; Meritet, J. F.; Michaud, J. L.; Ponsot, G; Voit, T; Lebon, P; Bonthron, D. T.; Jackson, A. P.; Barnes, D. E.; Lindahl, T (2006). "Mutations in the gene encoding the 3'-5' DNA exonuclease TREX1 cause Aicardi-Goutières syndrome at the AGS1 locus". Nature Genetics. 38 (8): 917–20. doi:10.1038/ng1845. PMID 16845398. S2CID 9069106.
  25. ^ "Royal recent winners". Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  26. ^ "Gruppe 6: Cellebiologi og molekylærbiologi" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  27. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015".

External links[edit]

  • Tomas Lindahl on Edit this at Wikidata including the Nobel Lecture 8 December 2015 The Intrinsic Fragility of DNA