James D. Watson

James D. Watson was Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from 1968 to 1993 and is now its President. He spent his undergraduate years at the University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. in 1950 from Indiana University. Between 1950 and 1953, he did postdoctoral research in Copenhagen and Cambridge, England. While at Cambridge, he began the collaboration that resulted in the elucidation of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953. (For this discovery, Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.) Later in1953, he went to the California Institute of Technology. He moved to Harvard in 1955, where he taught and did research on RNA synthesis and protein synthesis until 1976. He was the first Director of the National Center for Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Watson was sole author of the first, second, and third editions of Molecular Biology of the Gene, and a co-author of the fourth edition. These were published in 1965, 1970, 1976, and 1987 respectively. Watson has also been involved in two other textbooks: he was one of the original authors of Molecular Biology of the Cell and is also an author of Recombinant DNA: a short course.

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