Professor, Molecular Biology and Genetics
While mitochondria are derived from eubacterial ancestors, the organellar genetic systems found today in animals, plants and fungi do not closely resemble those of modern eubacteria. To understand how these small but important genomes are expressed, one needs to study the organelles themselves.
Our research program, no longer active experimentally, has been aimed at understanding how expression of genes in mitochondrial DNA is controlled by nuclear genes, and how mitochondrially coded proteins are assembled with nuclearly coded proteins into the respiratory chain complexes. Budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a wonderful organism in which to study these interactions, since mutations in both genetic systems can be isolated and manipulated. Furthermore, genetic transformation and homologous recombination allow the replacement of wild-type by mutant, or synthetic, DNA sequences in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. For a summary of our findings, see the lab webpage.
Thomas D. Fox received his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University in 1976.
Awards & Honors
Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, elected 1998
State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2003
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected 2010
Louis and Edith Edgerton Career Teaching Award (CALS), 2013
Outstanding Accomplishments in Research Award (CALS),2015
- BioMG 2800: Lectures in Genetics and Genomics
- BioMG 3800: Advanced Genetics and Genomics
335 Biotechnology Building
tdf1 [at] cornell.edu
Thomas in the news
He was known for groundbreaking fundamental work on the origin of sex cells in vertebrates. His experiments with South African clawed toads yielded important insights into the development and reproduction of amphibian embryos, with implications...
- Molecular Biology and Genetics