American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Phillip A. Sharp
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1991
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1944
Phillip A. Sharp received his D.Phil. from the University of Illinois in 1969 and, after postgraduate training first at the California Institute of Technology and later Cold Spring Harbor, he joined the Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute) and Department of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974. He served as the Center's director (1985-91) and head of the Biology Department (1991-99) and was founding director of the McGovern Institute from 2000-04. Dr. Sharp is currently Institute Professor, the highest academic rank. Throughout his career as a scientist and educator, Dr. Sharp has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science, the Inaugural Double Helix Medal from Cold Spring Harbor, and the Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award for Excellence in Basic Science (2013). In 1993, he received the Nobel Prize for the discovery that genes contain nonsense segments that are edited out by cells in the course of utilizing genetic information. His work shattered existing scientific dogma and gave scientists a better understanding of how some hereditary diseases and cancers develop, thereby opening further the possibilities of gene therapy. Dr. Sharp is currently member of the Board of Trustees of MGH and of the Scientific Board of the Ludwig Institute. He is co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Biogen Idec, Inc., and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Sharp has been a member of the American Philosophical Society since 1991. In 1999 he was awarded the Society's Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences. The citation read "in recognition of his work on the biology of tumor viruses which led to his discovery that genes contain nonsense segments that are edited out by cells in the course of utilizing genetic information. This landmark achievement, known as RNA splicing, altered the course of molecular biology." He is also the 2010 recipient of the American Association for Cancer Research's Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research. In 2015 he received the Othmer Gold Medal.
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