Paul Berg, PhD

Paul Berg, PhD
Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine Dean’s Office Administrative Units; Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

Paul Berg, PhD | Class of 2013

Renowned for his pioneering work involving recombinant DNA and its role in the development of modern genetic engineering, Dr. Berg gained early recognition and influence when he outlined the key steps in which DNA produces proteins. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his “fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant DNA.”

Dr. Berg is known as an inspiring teacher who has made a lifelong commitment to science and to instilling his enthusiasm for research in his students. He is also an activist on public policy matters affecting biomedical science, including embryonic stem cells as well as recombinant DNA. His famous “Berg letter,” prepared at the urging of the National Academy of Sciences, called for a moratorium on certain kinds of DNA research until safety issues could be addressed. In 2003 he published a biography of genetics pioneer, George Beadle.

Career Highlights

2006 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization
1992 Elected Foreign Member, Royal Society, London
1991 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1986 National Library of Medicine Medal
1985-2000 Director, Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, Stanford University
1983 National Medal of Science
1982 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1980 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1980 Gairdner Foundation International Award
1974 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1966 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1966 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1963 Scientist of the Year, State of California
1952 PhD, Case Western Reserve University