Biography

Download Curriculum Vitae

W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D. is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pharmacology, Director of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, and Vice Chair for Basic Sciences in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is a trained biochemist, molecular biologist, and physiologist who has interests in hormone action, nuclear signaling pathways, chromatin structure, transcription, and the regulation of gene expression in biological systems including reproduction, inflammation, metabolism, stem cells, and cancer. His laboratory applies a broad array of approaches, from biophysics, biochemistry, and molecular biology, to cell biology, genomics, and mouse genetics, to study the detailed molecular mechanisms that control normal and disease phenotypes.

Dr. Kraus received a B.S. in Physiology from Cornell University in 1989 and completed his graduate research on the regulation of steroid hormone receptor activity in the laboratory of Dr. Benita S. Katzenellenbogen at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1994. He completed his postdoctoral research on the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation with chromatin in the laboratory of Dr. Jim Kadonaga at the University of California, San Diego in 1999. During his postdoctoral work, Dr. Kraus was supported by fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, California Division.

Prior to joining the faculty at UT Southwestern, Dr. Kraus was a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1999. He also held a joint appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.

In July 2010, Dr. Kraus moved to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he holds the Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Reproductive Biology Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Young Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, and the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award from the Endocrine Society.

Dr. Kraus has been supported by a Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences/Reproductive Biology from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, as well as grants from the National Institutes of Health, Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, the American Cancer Society, the Endocrine Society, and the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Kraus is a founder of Ribon Therapeutics. Ribon Therapeutics is pioneering the discovery and development of PARP monoenzyme inhibitors to block cancer cells' fundamental ability to survive under stress.

Education

Undergraduate
Cornell University (1989), Animal Science
Graduate School
Univ of Illinois @ Urbana-Cham (1991), Physiology
Graduate School
Univ of Illinois @ Urbana-Cham (1994), Physiology

Research Interest

  • Cancer biology (esp. breast cancer)
  • Chromatin structure and gene regulation
  • Computational genomics
  • Hormonal signaling
  • Molecular physiology of reproduction, inflammation, and adipogenesis

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

SMARCAD1 is an ATP-dependent stimulator of nucleosomal H2A acetylation via CBP, resulting in transcriptional regulation.
Doiguchi M, Nakagawa T, Imamura Y, Yoneda M, Higashi M, Kubota K, Yamashita S, Asahara H, Iida M, Fujii S, Ikura T, Liu Z, Nandu T, Kraus WL, Ueda H, Ito T Sci Rep 2016 6 20179
Chemical genetic discovery of PARP targets reveals a role for PARP-1 in transcription elongation
Gibson, B.A., Zhang, Y., Jiang, H., Hussey, K.M., Shrimp, J.H., Lin, H., Schwede, F., Yu, Y., and Kraus, W.L. Science 2016 353 45-50
Editorial: Would You Like A Hypothesis With Those Data? Omics and the Age of Discovery Science.
Kraus WL Mol. Endocrinol. 2015 Nov 29 11 1531-4
No Driver behind the Wheel? Targeting Transcription in Cancer.
Franco HL, Kraus WL Cell 2015 Sep 163 1 28-30
Ready, pause, go: regulation of RNA polymerase II pausing and release by cellular signaling pathways.
Liu X, Kraus WL, Bai X Trends Biochem. Sci. 2015 Sep 40 9 516-25
PARPs and ADP-Ribosylation Come Into Focus.
Kraus WL Mol. Cell 2015 Jun 58 6 901
New insights into the molecular and cellular functions of poly(ADP-ribose) and PARPs.
Gibson BA, Kraus WL Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2012 Jul 13 7 411-24
Regulation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1-dependent gene expression through promoter-directed recruitment of a nuclear NAD+ synthase.
Zhang T, Berrocal JG, Yao J, DuMond ME, Krishnakumar R, Ruhl DD, Ryu KW, Gamble MJ, Kraus WL J. Biol. Chem. 2012 Apr 287 15 12405-16
The histone variant macroH2A1 marks repressed autosomal chromatin, but protects a subset of its target genes from silencing.
Gamble MJ, Frizzell KM, Yang C, Krishnakumar R, Kraus WL Genes Dev. 2010 Jan 24 1 21-32
Reciprocal binding of PARP-1 and histone H1 at promoters specifies transcriptional outcomes
Krishnakumar R., Gamble M. J., Frizzell K. M., Berrocal J. G., Kininis M., and Kraus W. L. Science 2008 319 819-821

Honors & Awards

  • Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Reproductive Biology Sciences
    (2010)
  • Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Students in Independent Research Award
    (2008)
  • Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award from the Endocrine Society
    (2007)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    (2006)
  • Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Young Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
    (2004)
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Reproductive Biology
    (1998)