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Jack W. Szostak

Jack W. Szostak
BornNovember 9 1952(1952-11-09)
InstitutionsHarvard Medical School, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Alma materMcGill University, Cornell University

Jack Szostak (born November 9, 1952) is an American biologist and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Early life

Szostak graduated with a B.S. in cell biology from McGill University. He completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University.


Szostak has made contributions to the field of genetics. He is credited with the construction of the world's first yeast artificial chromosome. That achievement helped scientists to map the location of genes in mammals and to develop techniques for manipulating genes.

His discoveries have helped to clarify the events that lead to chromosomal recombination—the reshuffling of genes that occurs during meiosis—and the function of telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes.

Today, his lab focuses on the challenges of understanding the origin of life on the early earth, and the construction of artificial cellular life in the laboratory.

Awards and honors

Szostak has received several awards and honors for his contributions. He is a member of National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and New York Academy of Sciences. He has received the following awards:

  • United States National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology
  • Hans Sigrist Prize, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Genetics Society of America Medal
  • The 2006 Lasker Award


  • About Jack W. Szostak. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.
  • Jack W. Szostak at Harvard University. Harvard University. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.
  • Curiculum Vitae of Jack W. Szostak. Massachusetts General Hospital. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jack_W._Szostak". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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