David Pederson, Ph.D.


Training & Education

Dr. Pederson earned a Ph.D. in 1983, from the University of Rochester, for research with Martin A. Gorovsky, on transcriptionally active and inactive chromatin configurations. As a postdoc with Robert T. Simpson at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Pederson developed the first methods to purify from cells a single gene in its native chromatin state, in amounts sufficient for biochemical analyses. He joined the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 1988.

Research Interests

The information that guides cellular functions and development is embedded in DNA. In eukaryotes, DNA is packaged into nucleosomes, which make up chromatin. In the case of human cells, this orderly packaging of DNA into chromatin enables cells to fit ~2 meters of DNA into nuclei that are no more than ~10 microns in diameter. Nucleosomes help control access to DNA, in a selective fashion, and in so doing help regulate gene expression, DNA replication, and DNA repair. The goal of current research in my lab is to discover and elucidate molecular mechanisms that enable enzymes to find and repair oxidative DNA damage in chromatin. Cells in which this repair does not occur, due to mutation of repair enzymes, accumulate defects that can lead to cancer. We primarily use biochemical tools for these studies but we also collaborate with the Sweasy lab to study the function of DNA repair enzymes in cells, and we collaborate with the Lee lab to study repair processes using single molecule technology.

DNA Binding Modelling


Featured Publications

Maher RL, Marsden CG, Averill AM, Wallace SS, Sweasy JB, & Pederson DS. (2017) Human cells contain a factor that facilitates the DNA glycosylase-mediated excision of oxidized bases from occluded sites in nucleosomes. DNA Repair 57, 91-97. PMID: 28709015

Cannan WJ, Rashid I, Tomkinson AE, Wallace SS, Pederson DS. (2017) The human Ligase III-XRCC1 protein complex performs DNA nick repair after transient unwrapping of nucleosomal DNA. J. Biol. Chem. 292(13):5227-5238. PMID: 28184006

Cannan WJ, Tsang B, Wallace SS and Pederson DS. (2014) Nucleosomes suppress the formation of double-strand DNA breaks during attempted base excision repair of clustered oxidative damages. J. Biol. Chem. 289, 19881-93. PMID: 24891506

Odell ID, Barbour JE, Murphy DL, Della Maria JA, Sweasy JB, Tomkinson A, Wallace SS and Pederson DS. (2011) Nucleosome disruption by DNA Ligase III-XRCC1 promotes efficient base excision repair. Mol. Cell. Biol., 31, 4623-4632. PMID: 21930793

Prasad A, Wallace SS, and Pederson DS. (2007) Initiation of base excision repair of oxidative lesions in nucleosomes by the human, bifunctional DNA glycosylase NTH1. Mol. Cell. Biol. 27:8442-8453. PMID: 17923696

All Pederson publications

David Pederson, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 304B Stafford

Phone: 802-656-8586


Lab Team

Dr. Robyn Maher, Researcher Analyst
Dr. Joyce Heckman, Assistant Professor, Retired
Wendy Cannan, Recent Graduate Student