Erik Boye

  • Professor Emeritus; PhD
  • +47 454 75 204

Curriclum vitae

Member, yeast cell biology group.
Professor emeritus at the Institute for Biosciences, University of Oslo.


  • Graduated in biophysics from the Norwegian Technical University, Trondheim
  • Ph.D. in radiation biology, University of Oslo


  • 1973-1983: Physicist, Department of Medical Physics, The Norwegian Radium Hospital.
  • 1983-1997: Senior scientist, Department of Biophysics, Institute for Cancer Research.
  • 1997- 2016: Head of Department of Cell Biology, Institute for Cancer Research
  • 2013: Acting Research Director, Institute for Cancer Research
  • 2003- 2016 : Adjunct professor at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Oslo

Current Research Interests

  • Mechanisms and control of DNA replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  • DNA damage and repair.
  • Cell-cycle regulation
  • Checkpoint control mechanisms.
  • Translation and its regulation

Research distinctions

  • The Stiansen Biomedical Research prize (1998)
  • Several major grants

International Committees and Organizations

  • Member of EMBO
  • Member of EMBO Council 2001-2007
  • Vice chair of EMBO Council 2004-2007
  • Member of the editorial boards in EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports
  • Membership & Publications Committee, EMBO (1996-1999)
  • FEBS Council 2003-2007
  • FEBS Publication Committee, 2017-
  • Panel chair European Research Council 2008-10

National Committees and Organizations

  • Member of the Norwegian Society for Science and Letters (since 2000)
  • Secretary General of the Norwegian Biochemical Society (2003-2007)
  • Scientific Advisory Committee for the Computational Biology Unit (Univ of Bergen) (2003-2008)
  • Biomolex AS, Board member (2001-2003)
  • Programme committee for "Cell and gene technology", NFR (1998-2002)
  • Chairman of the board, Norsk Hydros Fund for Cancer Research (1999- 2016)
  • Member of the board, Norsk Hydros Fund for Cancer Research (2016- )
  • EMBIO (Univ of Oslo), Board member (2007-2009)

In-house activities

  • Translational Research Board (Forskningsutvalget, 2002-2004).
  • Steering group for construction of a new research building (2003-2009).
  • Users’ group for new research building (2001-2003)
  • Institutional web committee (2003-2007)
  • Committee for reorganisation of the Institute (1999-2000)
  • Member of Institute Council (1997-)
  • Leader of Scientists Union (1981-82)
  • Member of the editorial board of internal newspaper (1991-1998)
  • Deputy member of the board of the Research Foundation (2000-2002)
  • Board for IT and networking (1999-2002)

Teaching and Ph.D dissertations

  • Sporadic lectures at Oslo and Tromsø Universities since 1980s.
  • Teaching of multiple courses at Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Univ of Oslo(2003-).
  • EMBO Practical Course on fission yeast biology, Copenhagen, 2002 and 2004.
  • 17 Ph.D. dissertations, of which 8 were abroad.

Major scientific achievements

  • The oxygen effect of ionising radiation is due to chemical reactions and not to enzymatic repair (Nature 1975)
  • Produced the first DNA histograms of bacteria by flow cytometry (J. Bacteriol 1980).
  • Initiation of DNA replication in E. coli initiates in synchrony at multiple origins (EMBO Journal 1986).
  • The DnaA protein determines the initiation mass in coli (Cell 1989)
  • DNA methylation is a major determinant of timing and synchrony of initiation of DNA replication in E. coli (Cell 1990)
  • The mass at initiation in E. coli cells is not constant and varies with growth rate - in contradiction to the dogma (EMBO Journal 1994)
  • SeqA is a negative regulator of DNA replication in coli (Cell 1994, Cell 1995, PNAS 1996)
  • The mass at entry into S phase of pombe cells varies with growth rate (J.Cell Sci 1999)
  • There is no classical G1/S checkpoint in pombe, but this transition is governed by a novel mechanism (PNAS 2003)
  • The G1/S checkpoint is governed by the Gcn2 kinase (Genes Dev 2007)
  • Revision of the main mechanism to negatively regulate translation in all organisms (J. Cell Sci 2015, Curr Genet 2019)

Research grants

Received major grants from The Norwegian Cancer Society, The Norwegian Research Council (including "Miljøstøtte" and "Grunnleggende sykdomsmekanismer"), National Institutes of Health (U.S.A.) and minor grants from
The Odd Fellows Research Fund, Martin Flatners Legat, Siomon Fougner Hartmanns Familiefond and Familien Blix' fond.

Research visits/sabbaticals

  • Gunnar Ahnström, Stockholm University (1975)
  • Robert E. Krisch, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S.A. (1976-77)
  • Wolfgang Köhnlein, University of Münster (1982)
  • Arthur Kornberg, Stanford University (1987)
  • Paul Nurse, ICRF,London (1995)
  • Jose Sogo, ETH, Zürich (2002)
  • Ralf Wellinger, Sevilla (2017)

Meeting organisation
Main organiser of numerous national and international meetings, including an EMBO practical course (1986), two EMBO Conferences on DNA replication (1998 and 2008), EMBO Members Meeting (2002), the 50th anniversary meeting of the Norwegian Biochemical Society (2004), a Nordic meeting on DNA replication (1990),  the Nordic network meeting on fission yeast biology (2001) and 3rd Norwegian Cancer Symposium (2013).

Multiple articles on popular science and science politics in media in Norway and abroad, including appearances in radio and TV.

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