Graham C. Walker

Graham C. Walker

American Cancer Society Professor; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor

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.





Building 68 - Koch Biology Building


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, 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. REV7 Monomer Is Unable to Participate in Double Strand Break Repair and Translesion Synthesis but Suppresses Mitotic Errors. Vassel, FM, Laverty, DJ, Bian, K, Piett, CG, Hemann, MT, Walker, GC, Nagel, ZD. 2023. Int J Mol Sci 24, .
    doi: 10.3390/ijms242115799PMID:37958783
  2. A sensor histidine kinase from a plant-endosymbiont bacterium restores the virulence of a mammalian intracellular pathogen. Chaves-Olarte, E, Meza-Torres, J, Herrera-Rodríguez, F, Lizano-González, E, Suárez-Esquivel, M, Baker, KS, Rivas-Solano, O, Ruiz-Villalobos, N, Villalta-Romero, F, Cheng, HP et al.. 2023. Microb Pathog 185, 106442.
    doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2023.106442PMID:37944675
  3. Evelyn Witkin: Pioneering DNA repair researcher and social justice activist. Gross, CA, Walker, GC. 2023. Mol Cell 83, 3575-3577.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2023.09.035PMID:37863023
  4. Errol Friedberg: A life in writing. Wood, RD, Walker, GC. 2023. DNA Repair (Amst) 128, 103516.
    doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2023.103516PMID:37301015
  5. Evolution of Rev7 interactions in eukaryotic TLS DNA polymerase Polζ. McPherson, KS, Rizzo, AA, Erlandsen, H, Chatterjee, N, Walker, GC, Korzhnev, DM. 2023. J Biol Chem 299, 102859.
    doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102859PMID:36592930
  6. A haem-sequestering plant peptide promotes iron uptake in symbiotic bacteria. Sankari, S, Babu, VMP, Bian, K, Alhhazmi, A, Andorfer, MC, Avalos, DM, Smith, TA, Yoon, K, Drennan, CL, Yaffe, MB et al.. 2022. Nat Microbiol 7, 1453-1465.
    doi: 10.1038/s41564-022-01192-yPMID:35953657
  7. A Mutant Era GTPase Suppresses Phenotypes Caused by Loss of Highly Conserved YbeY Protein in Escherichia coli. Babu, VMP, Sankari, S, Ghosal, A, Walker, GC. 2022. Front Microbiol 13, 896075.
    doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.896075PMID:35663862
  8. Increased energy demand from anabolic-catabolic processes drives β-lactam antibiotic lethality. Lobritz, MA, Andrews, IW, Braff, D, Porter, CBM, Gutierrez, A, Furuta, Y, Cortes, LBG, Ferrante, T, Bening, SC, Wong, F et al.. 2022. Cell Chem Biol 29, 276-286.e4.
    doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.12.010PMID:34990601
  9. Molecular mechanism of SbmA, a promiscuous transporter exploited by antimicrobial peptides. Ghilarov, D, Inaba-Inoue, S, Stepien, P, Qu, F, Michalczyk, E, Pakosz, Z, Nomura, N, Ogasawara, S, Walker, GC, Rebuffat, S et al.. 2021. Sci Adv 7, eabj5363.
    doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5363PMID:34516884
  10. 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
More Publications



Photo credit: Raleigh McElvery