Tao-Shih Hsieh Memorial Lecture

3-5pm, Friday, March 16, 2018, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica.


3-5pm, Friday, March 16, 2018

Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica


The Role of Topoisomerase in Regulating DNA Repair by Recombination

Stephen Charles Kowalczykowski

Distinguished Professor

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

University of California, Davis              

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 What is the Tao-Shih Hsieh Memorial Lecture?

The Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology has established a lecture series to memorialize Dr. Tao-Shih Hsieh and show appreciation for his distinguished work in topoisomerase research.

A lecturer is invited by the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology and Academia Sinica, based on the recommendation of a Lecture Committee that is comprised of representatives from Taiwanese universities and the Institute.

The lectures are held annually at the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, usually on March 16.


Dr. Tao-Shih Hsieh  has led a distinguished academic career. His career is full of discoveries and major breakthroughs. This is certainly attributed to his solid scientific training in chemistry and immense knowledge in biochemistry and biology. He is one of the first scientists to determine the free energy of DNA supercoiling, which provides the critical information for explaining the energetic coupling between DNA superhelix and double helix, as well as the roles of DNA superhelix in various DNA transactions.

Throughout his scientific career, Tao has worked on and contributed to a number of research areas. However, his fascination had remained in the topoisomerase area till his last day. One of his major scientific achievements is the discovery of the first type II DNA topoisomerase in Drosophila, to which he has devoted much of his career. Using the fly as a genetic system, he has been able to elegantly dissect the biological function of the enzyme in DNA metabolism. Tao has since worked on DNA topoisomerase I, IIIa and IIIb in the same system, and again obtained incredible insight in to the critical roles of each of these enzymes in DNA metabolism. Of particular importance is latest works on topoisomerase IIIa in mitochondrial function and aging, as well as topoisomerase IIIb in genome stability, R-loop suppression and RNA topoisomerization.

Tao’s amazing works on topoisomerases represent major milestones in topoisomerase research. Most memorable, though, is his dedication to science and incredible talent. Undeniably, he serves as a model scientist for us all.

In memory of Tao-Shih Hsieh:


The Tao-Shih Hsieh, Ph.D. Memorial Lecture in Duke: