Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor (highest academic rank) at MIT and faculty member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, has made fundamental contributions to cancer biology and to understanding gene structure and regulation. Sharp’s seminal discovery of ‘split genes’ in eukaryotic cells and the associated mechanism of pre-mRNA splicing resulted in numerous awards and honors, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1993), the Lasker Prize (1988), the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1986) and the 2004 National Medal of Science. In addition, he holds numerous honorary degrees from universities here and abroad and serves on many advisory boards for the government, academic institutions, scientific societies and companies. He is elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society of the UK. His MIT career spans over 39 years where he served as Director of the Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute), Head of the Department of Biology and later Founding Director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, KY in 1966, and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969. He did his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular biology of plasmids from bacteria in Professor Norman Davidson's laboratory. Prior to joining MIT, he was Senior Scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1978 Dr. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now Biogen Idec) and in 2002 he co-founded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
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