Wanderings of a DNA enzymologist: from DNA polymerase to viral latency

Annu Rev Biochem. 2006;75:1-17. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.75.033004.153516.


I am a member of what has been called, perhaps too grandiosely, "The Greatest Generation." I grew up during the Great Depression and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Because of my military service and the benefits of the GI Bill, I was able to attend college and, later, graduate school. Early in my graduate studies, I became fascinated with enzymes and the biochemical reactions that they catalyze. This fascination has never left me during the 50 years I have been a "DNA enzymologist." I was fortunate to have had as a mentor Arthur Kornberg, one of the great biochemists of the twentieth century, and a splendid group of postdocs and graduate students. I have studied DNA polymerases, DNA nucleases, DNA ligases, and DNA recombinases, enzymes that are critical to our understanding of DNA replication, repair, and recombination. Most recently, I have been studying herpes virus replication and inadvertently wandered into an entirely new area-viral latency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Ligases / metabolism
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase*
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Rec A Recombinases / metabolism
  • Virus Latency*
  • Virus Replication


  • Rec A Recombinases
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases
  • DNA Ligases