After 44 years of active research my laboratory was closed in 2006. My research efforts were focused on the genetic and biochemical basis of stable maintenance of plasmids in bacteria. An important aspect of these studies was the development of plasmid vectors for gene cloning in a wide variety of gram-negative bacteria. Additional projects involved the regulation of genes controlling nitrogen fixation in Rhizobia and the cloning of the firefly luciferase gene and its expression in procaryotes and eucaryotes.
Don Helinski earned his Ph.D at Case Western University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at UCSD, he was on the faculty at Princeton University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and the American Academy of Microbiology.