Gene Structure and Regulation Section,
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
For 24 years Dean Hamer has worked at the National Institutes of Health, where he is currently the Chief of the Section on Gene Structure and Regulation in the Laboratory of Biochemistry.
Dr. Hamer's research has led to major contributions in a variety of areas including recombinant DNA, drug and vaccine production, and HIV/AIDS. He was a co-inventor of animal gene transfer. For the past nine years he has been studying the role of inheritance in human behavior, personality traits, and other complex characteristics. His discoveries of genetic links to sexual orientation, personality traits such as anxiety and thrill seeking, and health-related behaviors including cigarette smoking have changed the way we think about human behavior and have raised a host of important scientific, social, and ethical issues.
He has published over 100 scientific papers and has received numerous honors, including the Ariens Kappers Award for Neurobiology. His books The Science of Desire and Living With Our Genes, co-authored with journalist Peter Copeland, have won widespread critical acclaim. He is currently working on a book about spirituality and genetics (pre-order).
Dr. Hamer received his B.A. from Trinity College, Connecticut, and his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School.