Following his doctoral studies, Dr. Osheroff moved to the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1980, where he was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Douglas Brutlag in the Department of Biochemistry. In 1983, he moved to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and he has been on the faculty since that time. Dr. Osheroff currently holds Professorships in the Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine and was endowed with the John G. Coniglio Chair in Biochemistry in 2003. He has spent a combined 27 years on the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry and has authored over 240 publications.
Dr. Osheroff's research focuses on topoisomerases, enzymes that remove knots and tangles from the genetic material and modulate torsional stress in DNA. In addition to their critical physiological roles, human type I and II topoisomerases are the targets for a number of widely used anticancer drugs. Furthermore, bacterial type II topoisomerases are the targets for quinolones, a drug class that includes some of the most frequently prescribed antibacterials in the world. The Osheroff laboratory has made seminal contributions to our understanding of how topoisomerases function and how anticancer drugs, natural products, and antibacterials interact with these enzymes and alter their catalytic functions.
Beyond his research, Dr. Osheroff has a long-standing interest in mentoring and training young scientists and physicians. Twenty-seven Ph.D. students have graduated under his mentorship. Dr. Osheroff he has been a course director since 1990 and holds a number of educational leadership positions in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Dr. Osheroff Chaired the NCI-I "Transition to Independence" study section from 2013-2016 and has held leadership positions in two international medical science educator organizations.
Finally, Dr. Osheroff has received awards for mentoring, teaching, curricular design, educational service, and affirmative action and diversity. Over the past five years, he has been invited to present more than seventy scientific and educational talks at forty-six institutions/meetings in seventeen different countries.