Walter Gilbert

Walter Gilbert

Walter Gilbert

Birth : (1932-03-21)March 21, 1932(age 88) Boston,Massachusetts, United States

Personal Information

Name Walter Gilbert
Birth (1932-03-21)March 21, 1932(age 88) Boston,Massachusetts, United States
Birth Place (age 88) Boston,Massachusetts, United States
Nationality U.S.
Fields Biochemistry,Physics
Institution Harvard University)
Thesis On generalised dispersion relations and meson-nucleon scattering(1958)
Doctoral Advisor Abdus Salam

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Walter Gilbert (born March 21, 1932) is an American biochemist, physicist, molecular biology pioneer, and Nobel laureate.


Walter Gilbert was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 21, 1932, the son of Emma (Cohen), a child psychologist, and Richard V. Gilbert, an economist.


They later married at age 21.He was educated at the Sidwell Friends School, and attended Harvard University for undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a baccalaureate in chemistry and physics in 1953 and a master's degree in physics in 1954.


He studied for his doctorate at the University of Cambridge, where he earned a Ph.D. in physics supervised by the Nobel laureate Abdus Salam in 1957.


Career and research Gilbert returned to Harvard in 1956 and was appointed assistant professor of physics in 1959.


Watson and Gilbert ran their laboratory jointly through most of the 1960s, until Watson left for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


In 1964 he was promoted to associate professor of biophysics and promoted again in 1968 to professor of biochemistry.


In 1996, Gilbert and Stuart B. Levy founded Paratek Pharmaceuticals.


At a March 1986 meeting in Santa Fe New Mexico he proclaimed "The total human sequence is the grail of human genetics".


In 1987, he proposed starting a company called Genome Corporation to sequence the genome and sell access to the information.


In an opinion piece in Nature in 1991, he envisioned completion of the human genome sequence transforming biology into a field in which computer databases would be as essential as laboratory reagentsGilbert returned to Harvard in 1985.


In 1962, Gilbert's Ph.D. student in physics Gerald Guralnik extended Gilbert's work on massless particles; Guralnik's work on is widely recognized as an important thread in the discovery of the Higgs Boson.


Gilbert first proposed the existence of introns and exons and explained the evolution of introns in a seminal 1978 "News and Views" paper published in Nature.


In 1986, Gilbert proposed the RNA world hypothesis for the origin of life, based on a concept first proposed by Carl Woese in 1967.


In 1969, Gilbert was awarded Harvard's Ledlie Prize.


In 1972 he was named American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology.


In 1979, Gilbert was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Frederick Sanger.


Gilbert was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, shared with Frederick Sanger and Paul Berg.


Gilbert has also been honored by the National Academy of Sciences (US Steel Foundation Award, 1968)


Gilbert was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1987.In 2002, he received the Biotechnology Heritage Award, from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.


Allan Maxam and Walter Gilbert's 1977 paper "A new method for sequencing DNA" was honored by a Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Award from the Division of History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society for 2017.


Gilbert married Celia Stone, the daughter of I. F. Stone, in 1953 and has two children.


After retiring from Harvard in 2001, Gilbert has launched an artistic career to combine art and science.