Nancy  Craig Headshot

Nancy Craig

Scientific Advisory Board Member

Nancy Craig was a Professor and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was previously a member of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco.

For over 30 years in these positions, she studied the mechanism of transposition both in vitro and in vivo of several bacterial and eukaryotic mobile elements using genetic, biochemical and structural methods. She found that the bacterial element Tn7 uses a novel targeting mechanism to guide chromosomal insertions to a single “safe” site in the chromosome. Her work on both Tn7 and several eukaryotic elements revealed new mechanisms of DNA breakage & joining during transposition. She exploited yeast as a heterologous host system to identify interesting transposase mutants that have been used for genome engineering in mammalian cells and also found that patterns of transposon insertion can be diagnostic of nucleosome position, a finding that lead others to develop a widely used method of chromatin characterization.

Nancy received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College and her graduate degree in Biochemistry from Cornell University. She did postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health with Howard Nash studying the integration/ excision cycle of bacteriophage lambda. She was a visiting scientist at the Carnegie Institution in Science in Baltimore with Alan Spradling working on transposition of Drosophila P elements. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.