James G. Wetmur
- PROFESSOR Microbiology
- PROFESSOR Genetics and Genomic Sciences
- Bacterial Genetics
- DNA Recombination
- DNA Replication
- Gene Regulation
- Gene Therapy
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Molecular Motors
- Protein Complexes
- Protein Structure/Function
- Transcription Factors
- Viruses and Virology
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
B.S., Yale University
- James G. Wetmur, Ph.D.
Professor, Genetics And Genomic Sciences
Tel: (212) 241-7685
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1124, New York, NY 10029
Watch a video featuring the Microbiology and Virology PhD Graduate School Program.
A major focus of our research has dealt with biophysical chemistry of nucleic acid hybridization and branch migration as well as DNA-interacting proteins. In recent work related to single cell analyses, we have developed a single molecule-based molecular haplotyping system. The system begins with simultaneous PCR across two heterozygous polymorphic sites on single template molecules isolated by an oil-water emulsion. The method relies on linking PCR in the emulsion to connect the two PCR products, capping and allele-specific PCR readouts.
Human PON1 haplotypes were determined in a large cohort to demonstrate haplotype-phenotype association. PON1 is essential for the detoxification of organophosphates. As part of the birth cohort study in the Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center, we have examined human variation in activation and detoxification of organophosphates. We have found that not only do neonates have four-fold lower levels of PON1 than adults, but that those levels vary more widely with common promoter polymorphisms in neonates than in adults. Thus certain neonates have up to 10-fold less protection than adults. Low maternal PON1 together with maternal exposure to a commonly used organophosphate had a significant effect on birth outcome in the cohort.
In additional current work related to individual genetic variation, we are developing high-throughput methods for measuring mRNA allelic imbalance in human dendritic cells challenged with viruses in the Technology Development Component (TDC) of the Center for Investigating Viral Immunity and Antagonism (CIVIA) and in the Program for Research in Immune Modeling and Experimentation (PRIME). These studies complement the transcriptome approaches in CIVIA and PRIME and enable the discovery of new human variation evident only in the context of viral challenge. In addition, we have developed new technology allowing measurement of transcription from single human dendritic cells and from individual chromosomes within these single cells. Such variation may be important in identification of susceptible individuals and in the development of vaccines.
Wolff MS, Engel S, Berkowitz G, Wetmur JG, Siskind J, Barr DB, Teitelbaum S. Prenatal pesticide and PCB exposures and birth outcomes. Pediatric Res 2007; 61: 243-250.
Wallenstein S, Wetmur JG, Chen J. Comparison of statistical models for analyzing genotype, inferred haplotype and molecular haplotype data. Molec. Genet. Metab 2006; 89: 270-273.
Wetmur JG, Kumar M, Zhang L, Palomeque C, Wallenstein S, Chen J. Molecular haplotyping by linking emulsion PCR: analysis of paraoxonase 1 haplotypes and phenotypes. Nucleic Acids Res 2005 May; 33(8): 2615-9.
Berkowitz GS, Wetmur JG, Birman-Deych E, Obel J, Lapinski RH, Godbold JH, Holzman IR, Wolff MS. In utero pesticide exposure, maternal paraoxonase activity, and head circumference. Environ Health Perspect 2004 Mar; 112(3): 388-91.
Chen J, Kumar M, Chan W, Berkowitz G, Wetmur JG. Increased influence of genetic variation on PON1activity in neonates. Environ Health Perspect 2003 Aug; 111(11): 1403-9.
Chen J, Germer S, Higuchi R, Berkowitz G, Godbold J, Wetmur JG. Kinetic polymerase chain reaction on pooled DNA: a high-throughput, high-efficiency alternative in genetic epidemiological studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002 Jan; 11(1): 131-6.
Putnam CD, Clancy SB, Tsuruta H, Gonzalez S, Wetmur J, Tainer JA. Structure and mechanism of the RuvB Holliday junction branch migration motor. J Mol Biol 2001 Aug 10; 311(2): 297-310.
Wetmur JG. Nucleic Acid Hybridization. In: Rubin H, Wood DH, editors. DNA Based Computers III. American Mathematical Society; 1999. pp1-23.
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Dr. Wetmur did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2012 and/or 2013: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website at http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/services-and-resources/faculty-resources/handbooks-and-policies/faculty-handbook. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.
Annenberg Building Floor 16 th floor Room 16-30
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New York, NY 10029
Annenberg Building Floor 16 Room 16-98
1468 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10029