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Prof. Niles Lehman, Ph.D.

Niles Lehman is Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the Portland State University.

He studied chemistry and comparative biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. After his Ph.D. in biology at the University of California, Los Angeles under the supervision of Chuck Taylor and Bob Wayne he did a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, in the group of Jerry Joyce and at the University of Oregon in the group of Mike Lynch. In 1995 he became assistant professor at the California State University, Long Beach, and two years later at the University at Albany, New York. Since 2001 he works in Portland.

Research in Niles Lehman's lab is focused on the origins of life and the RNA World. He blends chemistry with genetics in the study of RNA-directed catalysis. He is specifically interested in the advent of self-replicating molecules. In addition, he is pursuing the hypothesis that recombination was a critical feature of nascent life, and in fact may have been the defining element of the chemistry to biology transition.

He is a Visiting Fellow in October 2018 in the context of the CAS Research Group "Recreating the Origin of Life" following an invitation from Prof. Dr. Dieter Braun.