Who he is
Randall King, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School. He received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Carleton College, a PhD in Biochemistry from UCSF, and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. King was then a fellow at the Harvard Institute for Chemistry and Cell Biology, one of the first academic high-throughput screening centers dedicated to the discovery of small molecules in the academic setting. Since 2000, he has been a faculty member in the cell biology department at Harvard Medical School.
What he does
Dr. King investigates the basic mechanisms that control the division of eukaryotic cells. The lab focuses on the ubiquitin-proteasome system, a complex network of proteins that controls the abundance of proteins in the cell, including many that regulate cell division. The goal of the lab is to understand the basic mechanisms that regulate cell division, but also to identify new targets for disease therapy. His work at the interface of chemistry and biology has identified small molecules that target the Anaphase-Promoting Complex and proteasome-associated deubiquitinating enzymes. His lab is interested in the development of these molecules for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. King has also been deeply involved in education at Harvard. For the past 10 years, he has directed the first year medical school course in biochemistry and cell biology. He is helping lead the design and implementation of a new integrated medical school curriculum called Pathways. In the graduate school he co-teaches a course on experimental design.
News from the lab
In recent work, the lab has explored clinical applications of the small molecules that have been discovered, including the identification of defects in cancer cells that make the cells very sensitive to small molecule inhibitors of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex. In biochemical studies, the lab has recently elucidated the rules that govern the selectivity of a proteasome-associated deubiquitinating enzyme.