Jack W. Szostak, PhD
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Alexander Rick Distinguished Investigator, Department of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
An internationally recognized geneticist, Dr. Szostak helped clarify the events that lead to chromosomal recombination and the function of telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes. For this work he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He is also responsible for the construction of the world’s first yeast chromosome and the development of the technique of in vitro evolution of RNA, which enables the discovery of RNAs with desired functions through successive cycles of selection, amplification, and mutation.
Dr. Szostak’s research is currently focused on artificial life and its novel chemical systems, from which he hopes to uncover possible pathways leading to a solution for one of the most challenging conundrums: How does life originate? He holds over a dozen patents and serves as an advisor to the U. S. National Research Council.
2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine2008 A. H. Heineken Prize for Medicine2006 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research2003 Harrison Howe Award, American Chemical Society2000 Genetics Society of America Medal1999 Elected Fellow, New York Academy of Sciences1998 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.1997 NASA Exobiology Study Section1996 Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennesey “Vinci of Excellence” Award1996 Dolman Award, University of British Columbia1997 Hans Sigrist Prize, University of Bern, Switzerland1994 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology1986-1992 Program Director, Genetics of Cancer and Inherited Disease Training Grants, Harvard Medical School1977 PhD, Cornell University