American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Resident (1)
2. Biological Sciences[X]
207. Genetics[X]
1Name:  Dr. H. Robert Horvitz
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; McGovern Institute for Brain Research
 Year Elected:  2004
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
H. Robert Horvitz's Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, awarded for his pioneering genetic dissection of programmed cell death (apoptosis), including the crucial discovery of the first caspase that mediates apoptosis, celebrated just one of his several comparably important contributions. Through genetic analysis of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Dr. Horvitz discovered and dissected many genes and pathways that play highly specific roles during animal development, and in animal behavior as well. He defined genes that control specific aspects of cell lineage and cell fate, including the generation of cell diversity during development; the timing of particular developmental events; inter- and intracellular signaling; and programmed cell death. Dr. Horvitz's molecular analyses of these genes revealed most of them to be strikingly similar to genes found in other organisms, including humans, and in many cases similar to genes that cause human disease. A member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty since 1978, Dr. Horvitz has been David H. Koch Professor of Cancer Biology since 2001. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1974) and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1991); the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1994); and the Genetics Society of America (president, 1995).
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