David Botstein, PhD

David Botstein, PhD
Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Chief Scientific Officer, Calico, San Francisco, California

David Botstein, PhD | Class of 2014

As one of the principal scientists responsible for unlocking the human genome, Dr. Botstein has revolutionized our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. In the early 1980s he proposed building a map of human disease genes using DNA polymorphisms, laying the groundwork for the new science of genomics and the foundation for what would later become the Human Genome Project. His techniques have been especially important for studying inherited diseases and have led to the identification of disease genes such as those responsible for Huntington’s disease and the BRCA1 gene.

In addition to his genomics work, Dr. Botstein contributed to the discovery of transposons in bacteria and the understanding of their physical and genetic properties. He developed methods to study the eukaryotic cytoskeleton in yeast to detect gene interactions and co-founded the Saccharomyces Genome Database. His laboratory has collaborated in applying microarray technology to study genome-wide gene expression patterns to define human tumor subtypes, while also developing the statistical methods and graphical interfaces now widely used to interpret genomic data.

A noted educator, Dr. Botstein has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and directed the Lewis-Sigler Institute at Princeton. He is also credited with establishing a new introductory science curriculum at Princeton that combines biology, physics, chemistry, and computer science. More recently, he has helped fund innovative curricula in technology-advanced teaching laboratories at various institutions.

Career Highlights

​2014  AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship
2013  Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
2012  Dan David Prize, Dan David Foundation, Tel Aviv University
2010  Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research
2003  Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation Award in Genetics
1993  Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1992  Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science
1992  Dickson Prize in Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
1989  Allen Award, American Society for Human Genetics
1988  Genetics Society Medal
1985  Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1981  Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1978  Eli Lily Award in Microbiology and Immunology, American Society for Microbiology
1967  PhD, University of Michigan