Professor Jack Greenblatt

Banting and Best Department of Medical Research
Faculty of Medicine
Appointed a University Professor in 2004

Professor Jack Greenblatt is an internationally recognized biochemist in molecular biology.  He has achieved an outstanding international reputation for his pioneering research on protein-protein interactions and on fundamental mechanisms that regulate gene expression in bacteria, viruses, yeast, and human cells.  He has an exceptional record of achievement in molecular genetics, focused on research that is fundamental and basic, but has clear implications for medical science.

Professor Greenblatt was the first to purify a transcriptional anti-terminator protein (i.e. bacteriophage N).  By developing methods for protein affinity chromatography, he then demonstrated the first connection between an activator protein and the transcription apparatus.  His experiments were among the earliest to show the regulatory importance of protein-protein interactions.

Professor Greenblatt's work with RNA polymerase II is equally distinguished.  He discovered and characterized one of the basal transcription factors (TFIIF), he was one of the first discovers of
specific interactions between a transcription activator and the basal transcription machinery, and he has made essential contributions to understanding the covalent modifications that mediate elongation control of RNA polymerase II.

Professor Greenblatt has initiated a comprehensive analysis of
genetic-physical-functional interactions between components of the general transcriptional machinery.  The initial studies have provided critical insights into transcriptional elongation mechanisms, including a remarkable complexity and surprising coupling to chromosomal histone modification events.  This work again has been characterized by bold and masterful experimental approaches, as well as conceptual insights into gene regulation, and promises to markedly enhance the understanding of protein-protein-DNA interactions underlying complex genetic regulatory pathways.

Professor Greenblatt holds a BSc (First Class Honours in Physics)from McGill University (1967) and a PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University (1973).  His research accomplishments are documented in over 130 publications; about 30 of these are in the most prestigious journals in the basic biomedical sciences.

Professor Greenblatt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  He has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto since 1977. Currently he is an Ann and Max Tannenbaum Professor of Molecular Medicine.

May 2004