Phillip Allen Sharp
Award Name : National Medal of Science
Year of Award : 2004
Award for : Biology
Location : Falmouth, Indiana, United States
Phillip Allen Sharp is an American geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing. Phillip Sharp was born on June 6, 1944 in Falmouth, United States. harp received a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969. In that year he began working at the California Institute of Technology, moving to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York in 1971. In 1974 he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he joined the Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research) and conducted his prize-winning experiments.
In 1988 Sharp received the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for his discoveries relating to RNA splicing. He served as head of the biology department at MIT from 1991 to 1999, when he earned the title Institute Professor at the Koch Institute. Following his work on introns and splicing, he began investigating the role of RNA in controlling genes. Sharp’s research had direct implications on the development of new therapeutics, which led to his involvement as cofounder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in 2002. From 2000 to 2004 he directed the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, then returned full time to his position in the Koch Institute. In 2004 Sharp was awarded the National Medal of Science for his research and discoveries based on the application of RNA interference (RNAi) technology to genetic studies in cells.