Richard Burgess

Professor Emeritus of Oncology

(608) 263-2635



James D. Watson Professor Emeritus of Oncology
Emeritus Program Member, UW Carbone Cancer Center


7455 Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research

Research Description

Work in my laboratory has focused on prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA polymerases and transcription machinery and their role in regulation of RNA synthesis. In particular, we study the structure and function of the initiation factor, E. coli RNA polymerase sigma70 subunit, by a concerted use of protein and physical chemistry, monoclonal antibodies, molecular genetics, and biochemistry. We have used special monoclonal antibodies to immunopurify RNA polymerase II from wheat, yeast, and human cells in order to study the subunit architecture of the enzyme and the interaction of the enzyme with DNA and transcription factors. Protein expression and purification methods have been developed. We have special expertise in protein refolding, gentle immunoaffinity chromatography, and study of protein-protein interactions, including a new technology to detect and isolate weak protein-protein interactions.


BS, 1964, Chemistry, California Institute of Technology
PhD, 1969, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University
Postdoctoral Research, Laboratory of Alfred Tissieres, University of Geneva, Switzerland