Michael M. Cox

Photo of Michael M. Cox
Evelyn M. Mercer Professor in Biochemistry
B.A., University of Delaware
Ph.D., Brandeis University
Phone: (608) 262-1181
Email: cox@biochem.wisc.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Training

9/1970-6/1974 University of Delaware, B.A., Biology

9/1974-8/1979 Brandeis University, Ph.D., Biochemistry. Thesis advisor: Dr. William P. Jencks.

1979-1982 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Stanford, University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305 (with Dr. I. R. Lehman).

Professional Employment

1983-1987 Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI  53706

1987-1992 Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI  53706

1992-present Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI  53706

8/1993-present Assistant Chair, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI  53706

Current Research Activity

Homologous genetic recombination evolved as a path for the repair of stalled or collapsed replication forks. Multiple processes (replication, repair, recombination, transcription, DNA packaging) all use DNA as a substrate, and all must be accommodated. Our research is mainly focused on the intersection between recombination and replication, with a focus on DNA recombination mechanisms and how they contribute to DNA metabolism. Present work is focused on the bacterial RecA protein, as well as proteins that regulate RecA function, including RecF, RecO, RecR, RecX, DinI, RarA, Uup, and RadD proteins. We are also interested in genetic modification of RecA to render it more proficient at recombination in vivo. RecA proteins with enhanced function are often barriers to replication, allowing us to explore how RecA filaments are accommodated on a chromosome during active replication. Another related effort is a study of genome reconstitution after severe radiation damage in the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans. A final focus is rapid evolution, with emphasis on the development of radiation-resistant variants of Escherichia coli.

Fellowships and Awards

9/1979-9/1981 American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship

9/1981-9/1982 Bank of America-Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

7/1983-6/1988 Shaw Fellowship (research award) awarded by the Milwaukee Foundation

7/1984-6/1989 National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award

9/1984-9/1986 March of Dimes-Basil O'Connor Starter Research Grant (research award)

1986-1991 Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

1989 Eli Lilly Award sponsored by the American Chemical Society, Division of Biological Chemistry

1989 Romnes Faculty Fellowship

1994 Spitzer Teaching Award, University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

1998 Vilas Associate Award, University of Wisconsin Graduate School

2000 WARF Kellett Mid-Career Faculty Research Award

2009 University of Wisconsin Regents' Teaching Excellence Award

2011 Elected American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow

2013-2023 Evelyn M. Mercer Professor in Biochemistry

2018 5th Annual Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

National/International Service (excluding routine paper/grant review)

2/1988, 6/1990, 2/2002, 6/2003, 10/2005, 2/2006, 10/2007  NIH Microbial Genetics Study Section (Ad hoc)

7/1/1991-1/31/1997 Assistant Editor, Journal of Biological Chemistry

7/1992 NIH Special Review Committee Site Visit Review

1/1993-6/1995 NIH Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section

1998-2001 Council Member, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

1997-present Chief Advisor in development of the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences/Online Encyclopedia, Nature Publishing Group, UK  (launched 2001)

1999-2004 Assistant Editor, Journal of Biological Chemistry

2001 (November) Organizing Committee, National Academy of Sciences Symposium on Relationships between Replication and Recombination, Irvine, CA

2002 Meeting co-chair, Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference

2002-present Editor, Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2002-2005 Member, U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2004-2006 Vice chair, U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (USNC/IUBMB)

2005-present Editorial Board, BioMed Central Microbiology

2006 Meeting co-chair, Nucleic Acids Keystone Symposium

2006-present Advisor, FASEB “Educating About Evolution” Subcommittee

2007 Meeting Co-chair, FASEB Summer Research Conference

2007-2010 AAAS Council Delegate, Section on Biological Sciences

3/2008 Visiting Professor, University of Paris Sud, Orsay, France

2009 Meeting Chair, FASEB Summer Research Conference

2011 Subsection Editor, Encyclopedia of Molecular Life Sciences

1/2011-12/2015 Editorial Board, Journal of Bacteriology

7/2012 NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Panel

6/2014 NIH Fellowships: Genes, Genomes and Genetics Study Section

2015 NIH Cancer Etiology Study Section (ad hoc)

2/2017  NIH Prokaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section (PCMB) (ad hoc)

7/2017 NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS), TRI Radiation Resistance Panel Review Meeting

6/2017, 6/2018 NIH Prokaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section (PCMB)

11/2015, 3/2019 NIH, NIGMS, MIRA Review Panel

Major Departmental Service (routine committee work excluded)

1986 - present, Chair, departmental space and remodeling committee

1992 - present, Chair, new buildings committee. Oversaw design and construction of 1998 building (200,000 GSF) and 2011 project (multiple buildings; 250,000 GSF). Many smaller projects.

1993 - present, Assistant Chair, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI  53706

Patents

2000 Michael M. Cox, Elizabeth Wood, Li-chun Huang. Chromosomal targeting in bacteria using FLP recombinase. U.S. Patent Number 6,140,129

2007 Michael M. Cox, Dennis R. Harris, Sergei V. Saveliev, Julie M. Eggington, John R. Battista, Edmond Joivet, Masashi Tanaka. Method to protect DNA Ends. U.S. Patent Number 7,211,393

2007 Michael M. Cox, Shelley Lusetti, Aimee Eggler, and Nami Haruta. RecA Mutants. U.S. Patent Number 7,176,007

2010 Michael M. Cox, Michael M. Cox, John R. Battista, Audrey J. Klingele, Joseph R. Piechura. Method for DNA Double-Strand Break Repair In Vitro and Applications Thereof. USPTO 20100317009

2012 Michael M. Cox, Marielle C. Eichhern-Gruenig, James L. Keck. Method for using Ref protein as a targeted RecA-dependent nuclease.  USPTO # 20120088276; US Patent Application No. 13/208,985

2017 Michael M. Cox, Angela Manlick, Tayla Olsen. REF nuclease for site-specific REF-medicated DNA cleavage. U.S. Patent Number 9,611,470.

Current Students and Postdocs
 

Alumni
 

Current Teaching Responsibilities

Biochemistry 507, fall semester (undergraduate survey course; 150+ students)


Biochemistry 907, spring seminar course


Biochemistry 612, fall semester, 2 lectures

Biochemistry 701, fall semester

Invited Seminars

Airlie House Recombination Meeting, VA, November 1983


University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, April 1984


Cold Spring Harbor Symposium, NY, June 1984 (2 presentations)


Michigan State University, December 1984

Upjohn Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI, December 1984

DuPont Inc. Experimental Station, Wilmington, DE, December 1984

University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, March 1985

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, March 1985

Yeast Recombination Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, March 1986

UCLA Symposium on Replication and Recombination, Park City, UT, March 1986

Meeting on "Extrachromosomal Elements in Lower Eukaryotes," Urbana, IL, June 1986

FASEB Recombination Meeting, VT, July 1986

University of Delaware, September 1986

Johns Hopkins University, September 1986

FASEB Recombinational Meeting, Copper Mountain, CO, July 1987

Harvard University, Boston, MA, March 1988

Cornell University Medical School, New York, NY, March 1988

Cold Spring Harbor Recombination Meeting, NY, September 1988

University of South Dakota, December 1988

Enzyme Mechanisms Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, January 1989

University of Maryland, College Park, MD, March 1989

UCLA Symposium on Replication and Recombination, Keystone, CO, March 1989

ACS Meeting (Lilly Award Presentation), Dallas, TX, April 1989

Gordon Conference, New London, NH, June 1989

FASEB Recombination Meeting, Copper Mountain, CO, July 1989 (Session Chair)

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, September 1989

Mathematical Approaches to DNA, Santa Fe, NM, January 1990

Recombination and Repair, Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany, March 1990

University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University, Berkeley and Stanford, CA, March 1990

NCI Training Grant Seminar Series, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, March 1990

Workshop on Site-Specific Recombination and Transposition, Woods Hole, MA, September 1990

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, February 1991

FASEB Recombination Meeting, Saxtons River, VT, July-August 1991

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, September 1991

International Conference on Genome Plasticity, Cancun, Mexico, December 1991

UCLA Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms in DNA Replication & Recombination, Taos, NM, January-February 1992

DNA-Protein Complexes:  Structures and Functions, Austin, TX, April 1992

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, May 1992

Biopolymers Gordon Research Conference, Newport, RI, June 1992

2nd Site-specific Recombination and Transposition Workshop, Berlin, Germany, September 1992

Midwest Yeast Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, November 1992

Midwest Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics and Physiology Club, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI,
September 1993

University of Minnesota, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroanatomy, Minneapolis, MN, March 1994

EMBO Workshop on Genetic Recombination, Seillac, France, June 1994

University of Wyoming, Department of Molecular Biology, Laramie, WY, October 1994

The I. Robert Lehman Symposium, Sonoma, CA, November 1994

FASEB Ciliate Molecular Biology Meeting, Copper Mountain, CO, July 1995

FASEB Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements Meeting, Snowmass Mountain, CO, August 1995

KEYSTONE Mechanisms of Site-Specific Recombination and Transposition, Taos, NM, February 1996 (Session Chair)

University of Delaware Spring Seminar, Newark, DE, March 1996

EMBO Workshop on Genetic Recombination, Seillac, France, May 1996

ASBMB Satellite Meeting on DNA Repair, New Orleans, LA, June 1996 (Session Chair)

The Bill Jencks Symposium, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, July 1996

Workshop on Site-Specific Recombination and Transposition, Woods Hole, MA, September 1996

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, December 1996

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, January 1997

FASEB Ciliate Molecular Biology, Copper Mountain, CO, July 1997

FASEB Genetic Recombination and Chromosome Rearrangements, Snowmass Mountain, CO, August 1997

Programed Gene Rearrangement: Site-Specific Recombination, Madrid, Spain, October 1997

Duke University Seminar, Durham, NC, May 1998

International Congress of Genetics, Beijing, China, August 1998

Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, August 1998

KEYSTONE Molecular Mechanisms in DNA Replication and Recombination, Taos, NM, February 1999

Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, February 1999

Mechanisms of Homologous Recombination and Genetic Rearrangements, Madrid, Spain, April 1999

Texas A&M University, Houston, TX, May 1999

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, June 1999

FASEB Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements, Snowmass, CO, August 1999

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, March 2000

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, April 2000

Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference, Newport, RI, June 2000

National Academy of Sciences Conference on Relationships between Replication and Recombination, Irvine, CA,
November 2000 (Meeting Co-organizer)

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI, November 2000

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX, December 2000

KEYSTONE Bacterial Chromosomes, Santa Fe, NM, February 2001

University of Illinois-Champagne Urbana, IL, March 2001

Programmed Gene Rearrangement: Site Specific Recombination, Madrid, Spain, April 2001

Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference, Newport, RI, June 2001 (Meeting Vice-chair)

Yale University, New Haven, CT, November 2001

KEYSTONE The Interaction of Replication and Recombination, Snowbird, UT, January 2002

Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference, Newport, RI, June 2002 (Meeting Co-Chair)

Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis Gordon Conference, Ventura, CA, March 2002

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, April 2002

Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference, Bristol, RI, June 2002 (Meeting Co-Chair)

University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, April 2003

FASEB Genetic Recombination and Chromosomal Rearrangements, Snowmass, CO, July 2003

Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis Gordon Conference, Ventura, CA, March 2004

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NB, April 2004

University of California, Los Angeles, CA, May 2004

Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, September 2004

University of Texas, Austin, TX, November 2004

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, November 2004

NIH, Bethesda, MD, November 2004

Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, December 2004

Brandeis University, Kaplan Lecture, Waltham, MA, April 2005

ASBMB 2005 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 2005 (Session Chair)

KEYSTONE Nucleic Acid Enzymes, Taos, NM, February 2006 (Meeting Chair)

EMBO Workshop on Recombination Mechanisms, Seillac, France, May 2006

FASEB Summer Research Conference, Saxtons River, VT, June 2006

Instructor, DNA and Chromosomes: Physical and Biological Approaches, Corsica, France, June 2006

Universität Zuerich-Irchel, Institut für Veterinäbiochemie, Zürich, Switzerland, July 2006

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, November 2006

McGill University, Montreal-Quebec, Canada, November 2006

Colby College, Waterville, ME, December 2006

FASEB Recombination and chromosomal rearrangements, Snowmass Village, CO, July 2007 (Meeting Co-Chair)

ASBMB Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 2008

University of Paris Sud, Orsay, France, March 2008

FASEB Summer Research Conference, Snowmass Village, CO, August 2009 (Meeting Chair)

Cantoblanco Workshop “Molecular Mechanisms of Genomic Stability”, Madrid, Spain, May 2009

St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, November 2009

Chemistry Promotion Center, National Taiwan University, February 2010

Portland State University, Portland, OR, April 2010

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, April 2010

EMBO Conference on Recombination Mechanisms, Il Ciocco, Italy, May 2010

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, November 2010

KEYSTONE DNA Replication and Recombination, Keystone, CO, February 2011

AAAS 2011 Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, February 2011

ASBMB 2011 Annual Meeting, Washington DC, April 2011

The Forensic DNA Symposium, IA, June 2011

FASEB Summer Research Conference, Steamboat Springs, CO, July 2011

EMBO Conference "Recombination Mechanisms", Seville, Spain, May 2012

Green Mountain DNA Conference, Burlington, VT, August 2012

McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, March 2013

FASEB Summer Research Conference, Steamboat Springs, CO, July 2013

Green Mountain DNA Conference, Burlington, VT, August 2013

ASBMB Workshop, Designing Scientific Teaching Tools for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, April 2014

ABCAM, Mechanisms of Recombination: 50th Anniversary Meeting, Alicante, Spain, May 2014

Genomic Integrity Conference, Cairns, Australia, August 2015

Keynote speaker, Horizons Career Fair, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical, Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany,
September 2015

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, December 2015

University of Montana, Missoula, MT, December 2015

Mechanisms of Genome Maintenance: An International Symposium to Honor the Seminal Contributions of Dr. Stephen Kowalczykowski, Davis, CA, February 2016

First International Biotechnology Congress, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City, Mexico, April 2016

ABCAM, Mechanisms of Genetic Recombination, Alicante, Spain, May 2016

ICGEB DNA Replication Conference: At the Intersection of DNA Replication and Genome Maintenance - From Mechanisms to Therapy, Trieste, Italy, June 2016

Sixth Genome Dynamics in the Nervous System-GDN6, Hong Kong, January 2017

Bugs on the Beach, Wollongong University, Wollongong, Australia, May 2017

FASEB Science Research Conference: Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangements, Steamboat Springs, CO,
July 2017

University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, March 2018

ABCAM, Mechanisms of Recombination, London, UK, May 2018

3R+3C Meeting, Kanazawa, Japan, November 2018

International Symposium, Orsay, France, May 2020