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John Essigmann SM ’72, PhD ’76

William R. (1956) and Betsy P. Leitch Professor of Chemistry, Toxicology, and Biological Engineering

 

William R. (1956) and Betsy P. Leitch Professor of Chemistry, Toxicology, and Biological Engineering

 

John Essigmann SM ’72, PhD ’76
William R. (1956) and Betsy P. Leitch Professor of Chemistry, Toxicology, and Biological Engineering
Housemaster, Simmons Hall, 2002 – Present
Housemaster, New House, 1995 – 2002

John Essigmann is an award-winning teacher who draws on his interests in chemistry and toxicology in his cancer research. His novel interdisciplinary approach is based on a strategy called “Lethal Mutagenesis” or “Viral Decay Acceleration,” an attempt to use a cancer cell’s own mutation process to eradicate the disease. One resulting drug, manufactured by Koronis Pharmaceuticals, which Professor Essigmann helped to found, is currently in clinical trials.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Impact of an undergraduate internship at Arthur D. Little, Inc. in shaping his career.
  • Collaboration with MIT professor Gerald Wogan, a pioneer in toxicology.
  • Determining and defining damage to cell DNA from radiation, chemicals, and antitumor agents.
  • Origins of a new cancer treatment (KP1461).
  • Working with students at the Chulabhorn Research Institute in Thailand.
  • Learning opportunities as housemaster of Simmons Hall.

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