Famous 21st Century Biochemists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna.
4
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

American biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, who has made fundamental contributions in biochemistry and genetics, is best-known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene-editing. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing a method for genome editing through CRISPR, marking them as the only two women to share science Nobel ever.

 2 Rupert Sheldrake

Jennifer Doudna.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, UK
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 3 Emmanuelle Charpentier

Jennifer Doudna.
4
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: December 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Juvisy-sur-Orge, France

 4 Tomas Lindahl

Jennifer Doudna.
3
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kungsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden

 5 Satoshi Ōmura

Jennifer Doudna.
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: July 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nirasaki, Yamanashi, Japan

 6 Tasuku Honjo

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: January 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

 7 Shannon Lucid

Jennifer Doudna
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: January 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

Shannon Lucid once held the record for the longest space stay by any woman and by any American. Born in China, to missionaries, she was imprisoned by the Japanese, along with her parents, as an infant. The family then moved to the U.S., where Lucid studied at the University of Oklahoma.

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 8 Paul L. Modrich

Jennifer Doudna
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: June 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Raton, New Mexico, United States

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and Duke University professor Paul L. Modrich was born to a biology teacher and sports coach father. He studied at both MIT and Stanford and did his postdoctoral research at Harvard. He is best known for his discovery of DNA mismatch repair.

 9 Robert Lefkowitz

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

Born into a family of Polish immigrants, Robert Lefkowitz grew up to be a cardiologist and biochemist, and later taught at Duke University. He is best known for his research on the signal-receiving receptor molecules, such as the GPCRs, which eventually won him a Nobel Prize.

 10 Elias Zerhouni

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: April 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nedroma, Algeria

Elias Zerhouni was born to a math professor in Algeria and later studied medicine, specializing in radiology, inspired by an uncle. He has been associated with the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University medical school. The former NIH director also developed the existing MRI and CAT scan technologies.

 11 Stanley Cohen

Jennifer Doudna
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: February 5, 2020

Nobel laureate Stanley Cohen was born to a Jewish immigrant tailor and initially worked as a bacteriologist. The American biochemist revolutionized science with his research on cellular growth factors, helping later scientists understand the development of cancer cells. He spent most of his career at the Washington and Vanderbilt universities.

 12 Margarita Salas

Jennifer Doudna
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valdés, Spain
Died: November 7, 2019

 13 Thomas C. Südhof

Jennifer Doudna
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: December 22, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Göttingen, Germany

German-American neuroscientist Thomas C. Südhof was a gifted musician in his early days, having mastered instruments such as the bassoon. He later won a Nobel Prize for his research on the chemical signaling in neurons, which helped later scientists understand neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.

 14 Thomas A. Steitz

Jennifer Doudna
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 23, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 9, 2018

American biophysicist/biochemist and Yale University professor Thomas A. Steitz is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning work on the structure and function of ribosomes. The Harvard alumnus has also worked at molecular biology lab at Cambridge and has co-founded a pharma company that creates antibiotics based on ribosomes.

 15 James Rothman

Jennifer Doudna
2
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States

American cell biologist and biochemist James Rothman is best known for his ground-breaking research on cellular vesicles and membrane fusion, which laid the path for further research on immunological and neurological ailments. The Nobel laureate is a Yale and Harvard alumnus and has also taught at many prestigious universities.

 16 Arieh Warshel

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kibbutz Sde-Nahum, Israel

Born in Israel, Arieh Warshel had been part of the Israeli Army before he moved to the U.S. for his PhD at Harvard University. His research on computational enzymology helped him create computer models of chemical reactions and earned him a Nobel Prize. He later established a computational biology institute.

 17 Gregory Winter

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: British biochemst
Birthdate: April 14, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leicester, England

 18 Frédérique Vidal

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Biochemist, Politician
Birthdate: May 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monaco

 19 Daniel E. Koshland Jr.

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 23, 2007

Daniel E. Koshland Jr. made his own fortune in science in spite of being the son of Levi Strauss CEO Daniel E. Koshland Sr. and one of the most affluent men in America. Apart from working on the Manhattan Project, he also created the induced fit model of enzyme catalysis.

 20 Norman Heatley

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: January 10, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Woodbridge, England
Died: January 5, 2004

 21 Arthur Peacocke

Jennifer Doudna
1
Famous As: Theologian and Biochemist
Birthdate: November 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Watford, England, United Kingdom
Died: October 21, 2006

 22 Mildred Cohn

Jennifer Doudna
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: July 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 12, 2009

Apart from facing discrimination as a Russian Jew, Mildred Cohn also battled gender bias, being denied a promotion at NACA for being the only woman among the 70 staff members. Her pioneering use of NMR in the study of enzyme reactions later earned her a National Medal of Science.

 23 Max Beauvoir

Jennifer Doudna
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haiti
Died: September 12, 2015

 24 Marian Ewurama Addy

Jennifer Doudna
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nkawkaw, Ghana
Died: January 14, 2014

 25 David S. McKay

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Astrobiology
Birthdate: September 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 20, 2013

David S. McKay was an astrobiologist who provided geology training to the first men to walk on the moon during the Apollo program in the 1960s. He worked as chief scientist for astrobiology at the Johnson Space Center. He extensively studied lunar dust and wrote over 200 papers on the topic. The asteroid 6111 Davemckay is named in his honor.  

 26 Sia Koroma

Jennifer Doudna
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kono District British Sierra Leone

 27 Paul M. Doty

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: June 1, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Died: December 5, 2011

American biochemist Paul M. Doty served as Mallinckrodt Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard University. His scientific works included characterization of biopolymers like DNA, collagen and proteins using optical methods like light scattering and circular dichroism. He was part of Manhattan Project and worked on isolating uranium during the Second World War, and later remained active in promoting nuclear disarmament and peace.

 28 John Woodland Hastings

Jennifer Doudna
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 24, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Salisbury, Maryland, United States
Died: August 6, 2014

John Woodland Hastings was one of the pioneers of the study on bioluminescence and circadian rhythms, or sleep cycles. He was part of a church choir in his younger days and grew up to study at Princeton University. The Harvard professor was also associated with the Massachusetts-based Marine Biological Laboratory.

 29 Vanessa Nadal

Jennifer Doudna.
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Famous As: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Wife
Birthdate: August 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Better known as Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda's wife, Vanessa Nadal is a lawyer and teaches at the Fordham Law School. She also boasts of a chemical engineering degree from MIT and has worked at Johnson & Johnson. Vanessa and Lin-Manuel were in high school together, which is where their love blossomed.

 30 Maurice M. Rapport

Jennifer Doudna
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: September 23, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 18, 2011

Maurice M. Rapport was a biochemist known for his work with the neurotransmitter serotonin. He collaborated with  Irvine H. Page and Arda A. Green to isolate and name the chemical. He also conducted important research in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and connective tissue diseases. He worked at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. 

 31 Irwin D. Mandel

Jennifer Doudna
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: April 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: United States
Died: May 26, 2011

Biochemist and dentist Irwin D. Mandel revolutionized the field of dentistry with his research on dental plaque and its effect on tooth decay. He also studied salivary composition. By establishing the College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University, he set up the first preventive dentistry department in a U.S. university.