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Leona Samson became Director of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences in 2001. She is also an Affiliate at the MIT Center for Cancer Research and an Adjunct Professor of Toxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Her research aims at understanding how cell, tissues, animals and ultimately people respond upon exposure to environmental toxicants in general, and alkylating agents in particular. A wide variety of DNA repair pathways provide protection against DNA alkylation damage and it is now clear that a multitude of other pathways are important for cellular recovery. Samson's goal is to understand how these pathways function, how they are regulated, and how they integrate to determine the ultimate biological and health consequences of environmental exposures.
Samson received a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Aberdeen University, Scotland in 1974, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and University College, London University, England, in 1978.
DNA Mutation, Repair and the Environment
as author at MIT World Series: Fundamentals of Cancer Research,