Graham C. Walker

Graham C. Walker

American Cancer Society Professor; Investigator, Howard Hughs Medical Institute

Graham C. Walker studies DNA repair, mutagenesis, and cellular responses to DNA damage, as well as the symbiotic relationship between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.





Mary Gallagher



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 1974, University of Illinois
  • BS, 1970, Chemistry, Carleton University

Research Summary

Our research is concentrated in two major areas. First, we aim to understand how the proteins involved in DNA repair, mutagenesis and other cellular responses to DNA damage are regulated. Some of our discoveries have the potential to improve chemotherapy. Second, we probe how nitrogen-fixing nodules develop on legumes, and the relationship between rhizobial functions required for nodule invasion/infection and mammalian pathogenesis.


  • Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental health Research (RIVER), R35 Outstanding Investigator Award, 2017
  • National Academy of Sciences, Member, 2013
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI Professor, 2010
  • University of Guelph, Doctor of Science, honoris causa, 2010
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, 2009
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, 2008
  • Environmental Mutagen Society, EMS Award, 2006
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2004
  • American Cancer Society, Research Professor, 2002
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI Professor, 2002
  • Charles Ross Scholar, 2000-2003
  • American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow, 1994
  • Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow, 1992-2002
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship, 1984
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MacVicar Faulty Fellow, 1984
  • Rita Allen Foundation, Career Development Award, 1978

Recent Publications

  1. REV1 inhibitor JH-RE-06 enhances tumor cell response to chemotherapy by triggering senescence hallmarks. Chatterjee, N, Whitman, MA, Harris, CA, Min, SM, Jonas, O, Lien, EC, Luengo, A, Vander Heiden, MG, Hong, J, Zhou, P et al.. 2020. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117, 28918-28921.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.2016064117PMID:33168727
  2. A special issue dedicated to Dr. Bruce N. Ames: Introduction. Walker, GC. 2020. Mutat Res 849, 503115.
    doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2019.503115PMID:32087846
  3. Sinorhizobium meliloti YbeY is a zinc-dependent single-strand specific endoribonuclease that plays an important role in 16S ribosomal RNA processing. Babu, VMP, Sankari, S, Budnick, JA, Caswell, CC, Walker, GC. 2020. Nucleic Acids Res 48, 332-348.
    doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz1095PMID:31777930
  4. Incomplete base excision repair contributes to cell death from antibiotics and other stresses. Gruber, CC, Walker, GC. 2018. DNA Repair (Amst) 71, 108-117.
    doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2018.08.014PMID:30181041
  5. Elevated Levels of Era GTPase Improve Growth, 16S rRNA Processing, and 70S Ribosome Assembly of Escherichia coli Lacking Highly Conserved Multifunctional YbeY Endoribonuclease. Ghosal, A, Babu, VMP, Walker, GC. 2018. J Bacteriol 200, .
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00278-18PMID:29914987
  6. Important Late-Stage Symbiotic Role of the Sinorhizobium meliloti Exopolysaccharide Succinoglycan. Arnold, MFF, Penterman, J, Shabab, M, Chen, EJ, Walker, GC. 2018. J Bacteriol 200, .
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00665-17PMID:29632097
  7. Inhibition of mutagenic translesion synthesis: A possible strategy for improving chemotherapy? Yamanaka, K, Chatterjee, N, Hemann, MT, Walker, GC. 2017. PLoS Genet 13, e1006842.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006842PMID:28817566
  8. Lethality of MalE-LacZ hybrid protein shares mechanistic attributes with oxidative component of antibiotic lethality. Takahashi, N, Gruber, CC, Yang, JH, Liu, X, Braff, D, Yashaswini, CN, Bhubhanil, S, Furuta, Y, Andreescu, S, Collins, JJ et al.. 2017. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 9164-9169.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1707466114PMID:28794281
  9. Genome-Wide Sensitivity Analysis of the Microsymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to Symbiotically Important, Defensin-Like Host Peptides. Arnold, MFF, Shabab, M, Penterman, J, Boehme, KL, Griffitts, JS, Walker, GC. 2017. mBio 8, .
    doi: 10.1128/mBio.01060-17PMID:28765224
  10. Mechanisms of DNA damage, repair, and mutagenesis. Chatterjee, N, Walker, GC. 2017. Environ Mol Mutagen 58, 235-263.
    doi: 10.1002/em.22087PMID:28485537
More Publications



Photo credit: Raleigh McElvery