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Phillip A. Sharp

Phillip A. SharpAKA Phillip Allen Sharp

Born: 6-Jun-1944
Birthplace: Falmouth, KY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Biologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Eukaryotic (split) genes

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.

Father: Joseph Walter Sharp
Mother: Kathrin Colvin Sharp
Wife: Ann Holcombe Sharp (college sweetheart, m. 1964)
Daughter: Christine Alynn (b. 1968)
Daughter: Sarah Katherin (b. 1974)
Daughter: Helena Holcombe (b. 1981)

    High School: Pendleton High School, Falmouth, KY (1962)
    University: BS Chemistry & Mathematics, Union College of Kentucky (1966)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1969)
    Scholar: Molecular Biology, California Institute of Technology (1969-71)
    Scholar: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1971-72)
    Teacher: Cancer Research & Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1974-79)
    Professor: Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979-)
    Administrator: Director of Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985-91)
    Administrator: Director of McGovern Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2000-04)

    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

Official Website:

Author of books:
DNA Tumor Viruses: Control of Gene Expression and Replication (1986, with Michael Botchan and Terri Grodzicker)
Nuclear Processes and Oncogenes (1992)

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