Robert Warner Chambers, Ph.D

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University

Professor Chambers did both his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. As a DuPont Predoctoral Fellow, he earned a PhD. degree in Biochemistry in 1954 for his work on peptide chemistry.

He spent two years as a New York Life Insurance Fund Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Gobind Khorana at the British Columbia Research Council working on nucleotide chemistry.

He joined the Department of Biochemistry at New York University School of Medicine in 1956 where he rose through the ranks from Instructor to Full Professor. His research ranged from nucleotide chemistry to the molecular mechanisms of mutation. His teaching involved medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral students. As part of the MD/Ph.D. program, he developed a course to teach students from the life sciences (cell biology, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and biochemistry), many of whom had weak backgrounds in chemistry, the chemical logic that underlies biochemical reactions. That course was the catalyst for the book “The Chemical Basis of Metabolism”, which can be downloaded free from this Webpage.

After 25 years at NYU, he accepted the position of Carnegie and Rockefeller Professor of Biochemistry and Head of the Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He received one of the first three Terry Fox Special Initiatives grants for Cancer Research. At Dalhousie, he pursued his research on the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutations caused by carcinogens.

He retired in 1989, but he still holds an appointment as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dalhousie. In addition to his scientific writing, Dr. Chambers enjoys many interests including playing the piano, photography, and walking with his dogs through the woods near his home on Black Point Lake.