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H. Robert Horvitz ’68

Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2002

David H. Koch Professor of Biology

Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2002

David H. Koch Professor of Biology

H. Robert Horvitz ’68
Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2002
David H. Koch Professor of Biology
Member, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

H. Robert Horvitz, the David H. Koch professor of biology at MIT, shared the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for discovering and characterizing the genes controlling cell death in microscopic worms known as C. elegans. Professor Horvitz is a 1968 graduate of MIT, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and for the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, and a member of the MIT Center for Cancer Research. He has a particular interest in research for the advancement of knowledge of hereditary diseases and in addition to his work at MIT and the Massachusetts General Hospital, advises companies how to apply basic knowledge of biology and medicine to drug development.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Undergraduate experience at MIT, including his position as managing editor of The Tech.
  • Professional risks he took traveling to England to study worms.
  • Reflections on relations between science and politics, especially in regard to public support for research.
  • Description of research on genetic causes of death in microscopic worms called C. elegans that led to the Nobel Prize in 2002

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