James Watson

Quick Facts

NameJames Dewey Watson
BornApril 6, 1928 (age 96), Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma MaterUniversity of Chicago (BS), Indiana University (PhD)
Known forDNA structure, Molecular biology
SpouseElizabeth Lewis (m. 1968)
AwardsAlbert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1960), Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1962), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1962), John J. Carty Award (1971), Copley Medal (1993), Lomonosov Gold Medal (1994)
InstitutionsIndiana University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, National Institutes of Health
ThesisThe Biological Properties of X-Ray Inactivated Bacteriophage (1951)
Doctoral AdvisorSalvador Luria
Doctoral StudentsMario Capecchi, Bob Horvitz, Peter B. Moore, David Schlessinger, Joan Steitz
Notable StudentsEwan Birney, Ronald W. Davis (postdoc), Phillip Allen Sharp (postdoc), Richard J. Roberts (postdoc), John Tooze (postdoc)
Scientific ContributionsCo-authored with Francis Crick the academic paper proposing the double helix structure of the DNA molecule; Promoted research in molecular biology at Harvard University; Directed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Associated with the establishment of the Human Genome Project
PublicationsMolecular Biology of the Gene (1965), The Double Helix (1968)
ControversiesResigned as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2007 after controversial comments on race and intelligence; Honorary titles revoked in 2019 after reiterating views on race and genetics

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