Drew University - Biology Department

Stephen Dunaway, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology

Co-director of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program


I am a molecular biologist whose recent research focuses on DNA replication and DNA damage checkpoint responses.

I joined the Drew University faculty in fall 2005. Previously I was a research associate at Princeton University. I received my Ph.D. in 2004 in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Rutgers University, my M.A. in 2000 in Molecular, Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University, and my B.S. in Biology from Muhlenberg College.


I am interested in how cells maintain genomic integrity during the process of cell division. This is a particularly relevant question as loss of genomic integrity is associated with human cancer. Specifically, I focuses on understanding the regulatory mechanisms that control the major DNA damage checkpoint pathway in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe . This pathway, which is conserved throughout eukaryotic evolution, halts the cell division cycle at the G2/M transition in the presence of DNA damage, presumably allowing cells time to repair their DNA. In the absence of a functional checkpoint, cells continue to divide in the presence of damaged DNA increasing the potential for mutation and genomic rearrangements. A second major area of research interest focuses on how cells accurately replicate their genetic material as this process is essential for the maintenance of genomic stability. In human cells, alterations in this process can lead to the inactivation of tumor suppressors or the activation of oncogenes culminating in tumor formation. Yeast serve as ideal model systems to study the processes involved in maintaining genomic stability because these processes are conserved in humans and the information gained from these studies can be applied to the understanding of human cancer development.


Dunaway S, Asvolinski A, Torres J, Bessler JB, Zakian VA. The DNA helicase Rrm3p is a component of the migrating replication fork. Genes and Development, 2006 Nov 15.

Cheng X, Dunaway S, Ivessa AS. 2007. The role of Pif1p, a DNA helicase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in maintaining mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrion . 2007 May;7(3):211-22.

Dunaway S, Liu H-Y, Rao H, Walworth NC . Requirement of 14-3-3 protein binding for localization and function of Chk1. J Cell Sci 2004 Dec 7.

Dunaway S, Walworth NC . Assaying the DNA damage checkpoint in fission yeast, Methods . 2004 Jul;33(3):260-3 (K. Gould, ed.)

Han Z, Wei W, Dunaway S , Darnowski JW, Calabresi P, Sedivy JM, Hendrickson EA, Balan KV, Pantazis P, Wyche JH. 2002. Role of p21 in apoptosis and senescence of human colon cancer cells treated with camptothecin. J Biol Chem 277::17153-60


Courses taught by Dr. Dunaway:

Biol 22 /Molecular and Cellular Biology
Biol 156 /Molecular Genetics with Lab
"TBA"/ Molecular Biology of Cancer

Biol 196 /Research in Biology

Biol 190/Seminar: Molecular Biology of Cancer
Molecular Biology Contact Information| ©2007 Drew University