Leona Samson

Leona Samson

Uncas and Helen Whitaker Professor Emerita; American Cancer Society Research Professor Emerita

Leona Samson analyzes toxic chemicals frequently used in cancer chemotherapy to prevent further DNA damage.



Lindsay King



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, University College London
  • BS, 1974, Biochemistry, Aberdeen University, Scotland

Research Summary

Leona Samson studies alkylating agents, which are toxic chemicals used in chemotherapy that can damage DNA. To do so, she probes the large number of responsive genes that protect cells against alkylation toxicity. She also dissects the molecular mechanisms by which alkylating agents signal these very important downstream events. Leona Samson is no longer accepting students.


  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2021
  • Radcliffe Fellow, 2013-2014
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, 2007
  • National Academy of Medicine, Member, 2003
  • American Cancer Society Research Professor, 2001-2011
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Photo credit: Ed Quinn