Phillip A. Sharp life and biography

Phillip A. Sharp picture, image, poster

Phillip A. Sharp biography

Date of birth : 1944-06-06
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Falmouth, Kentucky, United States
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-09-27
Credited as : geneticist, RNA splicing, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

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Phillip A. Sharp is an American geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing.

Molecular biologist Phillip A. Sharp discovered discontinuous genes or "split genes" in mammalian cells -- long sections of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) with no encoded protein structure. His discovery earned the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Richard J. Roberts, who reached the same conclusions in his own studies.

Sharp is also a man of business accomplishments, co-founder of three successful companies: Biogen (now Biogen Idec), a huge pharmaceutical, medical research, and genetic engineering conglomerate; Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, which develops ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based therapeutics; and Magen Biosciences, a company researching skin physiology. In 1995 he received a threatening letter from "FC", later identified as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

In 1974, he was offered a position at MIT by biologist Salvador Luria. He was director of MIT's Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research) from 1985 to 1991; head of the Biology department from 1991 to 1999; and director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research from 2000 to 2004. He is currently a professor of Biology and has been an Institute Professor since 1999; he is also a member of the Koch Institute. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now part of Biogen Idec), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and Magen Biosciences, and serves on the boards of all three companies. He is an editorial advisor to Xconomy, and is a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.

In 1988 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Thomas R. Cech.


National Medal of Science 2004
Benjamin Franklin Medal 1999 (by the American Philosophical Society)
Nobel Prize for Medicine 1993 (with Richard J. Roberts)
Lasker Award 1988
Dickson Prize 1980
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Co-founder (2002)
Biogen Co-founder (1978)
Member of the Board of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (2002-)
Member of the Board of Biogen Idec (2003-)
Member of the Board of Biogen (1982-2003)
Member of the Board of Magen BioSciences
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Association for Cancer Research
American Chemical Society
American Philosophical Society
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
National Academy of Sciences

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