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Philip Sharp

Advisory Board Chair Institute Professor and Professor of Biology Emeritus

Phillip A. Sharp is an Institute Professor (highest academic rank) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Advisory Board Chair of the Jameel Clinic as well as a member of the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He was founding director of the McGovern Institute, a position he held from 2000 to 2004. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark work in 1977 provided the first indications of “discontinuous genes” in mammalian cells. The discovery fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of gene structure and earned Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sharp has authored over 440 papers. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society, UK. Among his many awards are the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, and the National Medal of Science. His long list of service includes the presidency of the AAAS (2013) and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the SU2C Project, AACR. A native of Kentucky, Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, Barbourville, KY, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Sharp is a co-founder of Biogen and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Awards and Accolades

  • Elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2012
  • Fellow of the Royal Society 2011
  • National Medal of Science 2004
  • Novartis-Drew Award 2003
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences, American Philosophical Society 1999
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993
  • Dickson Prize 1991
  • Louisa Gross Horowitz Prize 1988
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences 1983
  • National Academy of Sciences 1983
  • Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement 1981
  • NAS Award in Molecular Biology 1980
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