James D. Watson, PhD
Chancellor Emeritus, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
A renowned molecular biologist, teacher, and author, Dr. Watson is best known as the co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, for which he won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. First announced in early April 1953 by the director of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, the discovery went largely unnoticed until a paper reporting it appeared in the April 25, 1953, issue of Nature. Prominent biologists later described the finding as the most important scientific discovery of the 20th century.
Dr. Watson headed the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health from 1990 to 1992. In 2007, he became the second person to publish his personal fully sequenced genome online. Ahead of his time as usual, he said he did so to “encourage the development of an era of personalized medicine, in which information contained in our genomes can be used to identify and prevent disease and to create individualized medical therapies. “ He has written several highly regarded molecular biology textbooks and in 1968 published a personal account in The Double Helix, which became one of Modern Library’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books.
2001 Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences2000 The Liberty Medal, National Constitution Center1999 Honorary Member, AACR1997 National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation1994-2004 President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory1993 Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London1988-1992 Director, Human Genome Project, NIH1971 John J. Carty Award in Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences1975 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine1960 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research1959 Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry1959 John Collins Warren Prize, Massachusetts General Hospital1950 Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington