Leona D. Samson
August 29th, 1952
Biological Engineering, Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Aberdeen and University College London
Biochemistry, genetics, systems biology
Leona D. Samson is the Uncas and Helen Whitaker Professor and American Cancer Society Research Professor of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as the Director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences from 2001 – 2012. Before her professorship at MIT, she held a professorship at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is on the editorial board of the journal DNA Repair. Her research interests focus on “methods for measuring DNA repair capacity (DRC) in human cells”, research the National Institute of Health recognized as pioneering in her field, for which the NIH granted her the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award.
1 Education and Career
2 Research Area
5 Personal Life
7 External links
Education and Career
Samson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Aberdeen in 1974. She then went on to complete her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University College London in 1978. She holds two endowed professorships at MIT, one being the Uncas and Helen Whitaker Professor and the other is the American Cancer Society Research Professor in the department of Bioengineering. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Toxicology at Harvard University. In 2001 she became the Director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at MIT. She leads a lab at MIT named the Samson Group, focusing on researching human DNA repair and methods by which one can measure DNA repair capacity. She was recognized by the NIH for her work in 2009, when she was awarded the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, a funded grant awarded to “[support] individual scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering – and possibly transforming approaches – to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.” Since 2007 she has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the world’s largest general scientific society”.
Samson specializes in human DNA repair. Specifically, her lab’s goal is to “understand the biology,