Thomas A. Fox
Professor of Genetics

Thomas A. Fox




Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
335 Biotechnology Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


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Thomas D. Fox, a Professor of Genetics, is a member of both the Graduate Field of Genetics and Development and the Graduate Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology. He received his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University in 1976. He received a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship to do postdoctoral research at the Biocenter in Basel, Switzerland. Following his postdoctoral work he remained at the Biocenter as a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry until coming to Cornell in 1981 to join the Section of Genetics and Development.

At Cornell he received a Dupont Young Faculty Award, a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, and the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He has served as a member of the National Institutes of Health Biochemistry Study Section. Dr. Fox is an Associate Editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Society for Microbiology, American Society for Biological Chemists, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Genetics Society of America.

Research Description

The development of mitochondria involves interaction of genes and their products from both the nucleocytoplasmic and the mitochondrial genetic systems. Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a very favorable organism for the study of these gene interactions, since mutations in both genetic systems can be isolated and manipulated. Furthermore, genetic transformation and homologous recombination allow the replacement of wild-type by mutant, or novel, DNA sequences in both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. more

Selected Publications

Fiumera, H. L., S. A. Broadley and T. D. Fox, 2007 Translocation of mitochondrially synthesized Cox2p domains from the matrix to the intermembrane space. Mol. Cell. Biol. 27: 4664-4673.

Bonnefoy, N,  C. Remacle and T. D. Fox. 2007.  Genetic transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mitochondria.  Meth. Cell Biol. 80: 525-548.

Williams, E. H., C. A. Butler, N. Bonnefoy and T. D. Fox, 2007 Translation initiation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria: Functional interactions among mitochondrial ribosomal protein Rsm28p, initiation factor 2, methionyl-tRNA-formyltransferase, and novel protein Rmd9p. Genetics 175:1117-1126.

Williams, E.H., N. Bsat, N. Bonnefoy, C.A. Butler and T.D. Fox. 2005. Alteration of a novel dispensable mitochondrial ribosomal small subunit protein, Rsm28p, allows translation of defective COX2 mRNAs. Eukaryot. Cell 4: 337-345.

Fiori, A., X. Perez-Martinez and T.D. Fox.  2005.  Overexpression of the COX2 translational activator, Pet111p,  prevents translation of COX1 mRNA and cytochrome c oxidase assembly in mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Mol. Microbiol. 56: 1689-1704.

Williams, E.H., X. Perez-Martinez and T.D. Fox. 2004. MrpL36p, a highly diverged L31 ribosomal protein homolog with additional functional domains in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria. Genetics 167: 65-75.

Perez-Martinez, X., S.A. Broadley and T.D. Fox. 2003.   Mss51p promotes mitochondrial Cox1p synthesis and interacts with newly synthesized Cox1p.  EMBO J. 22:5951-5961

Demlow, C.M., and Fox, T.D. (2003). Activity of mitochondrially synthesized reporter proteins is lower than imported proteins, and is increased by lowering cAMP in glucose-grown Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Genetics 165, 961-974.

Naithani, S., Saracco, S.A., Butler, C.A. and T.D. Fox.  2003. Interactions among COX1, COX2 and COX3 mRNA-specific translational activator proteins on the inner surface of the mitochondrial inner membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.   Mol. Biol. Cell 14: 324-333.

Click here to view Dr. Fox's PubMed listings