Vice President Breslauer
Kenneth J. Breslauer, Ph.D.,
Interim Vice President, Research and Economic Development; Linus C. Pauling Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Dean and Vice President, Life and Health Sciences;
Breslauer has a doctorate in biophysical chemistry from Yale University and conducted post-doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the Rutgers faculty in 1974. He is an award-winning scientist in biophysical chemistry, and a moving force in collaborative biomedical initiatives throughout the university and the state, including the Cancer Institute, the Stem Cell Research Center, the Keck Center for Collaborative Neurosciences, the Biomaterials Center, the Proteomics Center, the Brain Health Institute, the State High-Field NMR facility, the Chemical Biology Collaborative Laboratory, shared core facilities for public and private use, as well as developing initiatives in personalized medicine, biomedical imaging, and wellness.
Breslauer is considered the world’s foremost authority on the energy forces that control the structure and stability of biological molecules, including their drug-binding properties. His lab is a national resource in biocalorimetry and biospectroscopy, serving numerous researchers within Rutgers and throughout the country. Supported by federal funding from NIH and NSF, Breslauer’s research team has made numerous seminal contributions to biomedical sciences. His lab determined the first energy database of the forces that control DNA stability. This database became incorporated into commercial algorithms used to predict double helical DNA stability, a capacity that has enabled the rational design of diagnostic and therapeutic protocols for biomedical and biotechnological applications. Breslauer patented an energy-based assay that allows screening for DNA variation and defects, thereby enabling diagnostic probes of genetic alterations that correlate with diseased states. His group made the first determination of the “Heat of Life,” the energy associated with the replication of DNA.
Breslauer’s research team currently is mapping the biological pathways associated with the recognition and repair of cancer-causing damaged DNA sites. His recent work on repeat DNA domains that correlate with neurological disorders was selected as a "Spotlight" article by the editorial board of the Journal of the American Chemical Society due to its novelty and broad biomedical interest. His development of new methodologies has enabled the mapping of heretofore experimentally inaccessible DNA energy landscapes associated with diseased states. The broad impact of his discoveries has been acknowledged through numerous recognitions, including the Sunner Medal, the Hoffman Memorial Award, and election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is executive editor of the journal Biopolymers, and serves on a broad range of boards and panels.
As vice president for health science partnerships, Breslauer works with leaders in the life sciences across Rutgers’ three campuses, the medical school, the state, and the region—in both the public and private sectors—to establish partnerships that keep the university at the cutting edge of clinically relevant biomedical research.