Dr. Woodring E. Wright received his BA degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Harvard University in 1970, a PhD under the direction of Dr. Leonard Hayflick in 1974 and an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1975. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France with Dr. Francois Gros, he joined the faculty at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas in 1978, where he is now Professor of Cell Biology and Southland Financial Corporation Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Research.
Dr. Wright has been the recipient of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award of the American Heart Association, a Research Career Development award from the NIH, a Merit Award from the National Institute on Aging, an AlliedSignal Award for Research on Aging, the Hayflick Award from American Aging Association and an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Buck Institute on Aging. He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, and holds fifteen U.S. patents, with an additional eight pending.
Telomere shortening ultimately limits the number of times normal human cells are able to divide before they reach replicative senescence. Dr. Wright and his colleague Dr. Jerry Shay have found that preventing telomere shortening by expressing the catalytic subunit of telomerase in normal diploid cells is able to immortalize many different cells. He is exploring the molecular mechanisms regulating telomere shortening and telomerase action, and pursuing a variety of approaches to exploit these insights for the treatment of cancer and age-related diseases.
- Harvard University
- Graduate School
- Stanford University (1974)
- Medical School
- Stanford University (1975), Medicine
- Biology of aging and cancer
- Cell and molecular analysis of muscle cell differentiation
- Telomeres and telomerase
- Telomere-end processing: the terminal nucleotides of human chromosomes.
- Sfeir, A. J., Chai, W., Shay, J. W., and Wright, W. E. Mol Cell 2005 18 131-138
- Modification of Subtelomeric DNA
- Steinert, S., J. W. Shay and W. E. Wright Mol Cell Biol 2004 24(10) 4571-4580
- Telomere position effect in human cells.
- Baur, J.A., Y. Zou, J.W. Shay, and W.E. Wright Science 2001 292/5524 2075-2077
- Inhibition of human telomerase in immortal human cells leads to progressive telomere shortening and cell death.
- Herbert, B., A.E. Pitts, S.I. Baker, S.E. Hamilton, W.E. Wright, J.W. Shay, and D.R. Corey Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1999 96/25 14276-14281
- Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells.
- Bodnar, A.G., M. Ouellette, M. Frolkis, S.E. Holt, C.P. Chiu, G.B. Morin, C.B. Harley, J.W. Shay, S. Lichtsteiner, and W.E. Wright Science 1998 279/5349 349-352
- Hallmarks of telomeres in ageing research
- Shay, J.W. and W.E. Wright J Pathology 2007 211 114-123
- The involvement of the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex in the generation of G-overhangs at human telomeres
- Chai, W., A. J. Sfeir, H. Hoshiyama, J. W. Shay and W. E. Wright EMBO Rep 2006 7 225-230
- Human telomeres have different overhang sizes at leading versus lagging strands
- Chai, W., Q. Du, J. W. Shay and W. E. Wright Mol Cell 2006 21 427-435
- Telomere-binding factors and general DNA repair
- Wright, W. E., and Shay, J. W. Nat Genet 2005 17 116-118
- Homologous recombination in human telomerase-positive and ALT cells occurs with the same frequency
- Bechter, O. E., Y. Zou, J. W. Shay and W. E. Wright EMBO Rep 2003 4(12) 1138-1143
Honors & Awards
- Irving S. Wright Award for outstanding contributions to research in the biology of aging
American Federation for Aging Research (2009)
- Ellison Medical Foundation
Senior Scholar Award in Aging (2002)
Award for Research on Aging (2001)
- American Aging Association
Hayflick Award (2001)
- Buck Center for Research in Aging
Scientific Advisory Board (1999)