Phillip D. Zamore, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute, has been a member of the University of Massachusetts Medical School community since 1999. After receiving his A.B. (1986) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University, he pursued post-doctoral studies on the role of RNA-binding proteins in Drosophila developmental jointly with Ruth Lehmann and David Bartel at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and James Williamson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His laboratory studies RNA silencing pathways in eukaryotes, including the RNA interference (RNAi), microRNA, and PIWI-interacting RNA pathways. His laboratory’s work has help explain how these pathways produce small silencing RNAs and how those small RNAs repress the expression of genes, transposons, and viruses. He and his collaborators seek to use these insights to design therapies for human diseases, including Huntington’s disease.
A 2000 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, Zamore was a 2002 W. M. Keck Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research and in July 2008 became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. The author of numerous high-impact papers in molecular biology and genetics, Zamore was the 2009 recipient of the ASBMB Schering-Plough Award. He is also a co-founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of small RNA therapies for human disease. Zamore and his coworkers have played a role in nearly all of the major breakthroughs in the study of RNA silencing.