Famous American Molecular Biologists

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

Vote for Your Favourite American Molecular Biologists

 1 James Watson

James Watson
Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

James Watson is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and zoologist. He is credited with co-authoring the academic paper that propounded the double helix structure of nucleic acids such as DNA for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. In 1977, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

 2 Suzanne Eaton

Suzanne Eaton
Famous As: Scientist and professor of molecular biology
Birthdate: December 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: July 2, 2019

American molecular scientist Suzanne Eaton had spent most of professional life at the Max Planck Institute. The WICB Junior Award winner had initially also considered alternative academic careers in comparative literature and math. She was raped and murdered by a Greek man in Crete, where she had gone for a conference.

 3 Arthur Kornberg

Arthur Kornberg
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 3, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: October 26, 2007

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and doctor Arthur Kornberg is best remembered for his research on DNA synthesis. Born to Jewish immigrants in New York, Kornberg assisted his father at his hardware shop as a child. He had also been a ship doctor for the U.S. Coast Guard.

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 4 Carol W. Greider

Carol W. Greider
Famous As: Biologist, Molecular biologist, Geneticist, Physician
Birthdate: April 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Davis

Carol W. Greider is a molecular biologist who discovered the enzyme telomerase in 1984. Her discovery was honored several years later when she received the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak for their work on telomeres.  The trio also shared the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research for the same work.  

 5 Jack W. Szostak

Jack W. Szostak
Famous As: Biologist, Molecular biologist, Geneticist, Physician, Professor
Birthdate: November 9, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian-American biochemist and geneticist Jack W. Szostak revolutionized medical science with his research on the manipulation of genes. The Cornell alumnus is credited with creating the first yeast artificial chromosome. He has also taught at the Harvard Medical School. In spite of being Polish, he doesn’t speak the language.

 6 Walter Gilbert

Walter Gilbert
Famous As: Biochemist, Physicist, Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: March 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

American molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Walter Gilbert pioneered research on the sequence of nucleotide links in DNA and RNA molecules. The Harvard and Cambridge alumnus later taught at Harvard. He also co-established firms dealing with genetic engineering and pharmaceutical research and was part of the Human Genome Project.

 7 Peter Agre

Peter Agre
Famous As: Chemist, Molecular biologist, Professor
Birthdate: January 30, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northfield

Nobel Prize-winning doctor Peter Agre revolutionized science with his work on the movement of water molecules inside the cell membrane. Born to a chemistry professor, he developed an interest in science early in his life. He was also associated with the medical schools at Johns Hopkins and Duke University.

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 8 Philip Allen Sharp

Philip Allen Sharp
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: June 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Falmouth, Kentucky, United States

Philip Allen Sharp is an American molecular biologist and geneticist best known for co-discovering RNA splicing. In 1993, he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Sir Richard John Roberts. Philip Allen Sharp has also won several other awards, such as the National Medal of Science, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize. 

 9 Sidney Altman

Sidney Altman
Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: May 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Known for his independent work on ribonucleic acid (RNA), molecular biologist Sidney Altman co-won the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering that RNA, which was thought to be a passive carrier of genetic codes, is also capable of taking up active enzymatic functions. The discovery is significant in that it forced scientists to reexamine traditional theories on cellular functions.  

 10 Seymour Benzer

Seymour Benzer
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 15, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York, United States
Died: November 30, 2007

Born to Polish Jew parents in the Bronx, Seymour Benzer would often cut open frogs in childhood. The molecular biologist is best known for his research on viral genes and for coining the term cistron. A Caltech professor, he was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 11 Susan Lindquist

Susan Lindquist
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: June 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 27, 2016

Cell biologist and MIT professor Susan Lindquist is best remembered for her research on protein folding and its impact on diseases. The Harvard alumna had also taught at the University of Chicago for 23 years. She was also the first female director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

 12 Maclyn McCarty

Maclyn McCarty
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: June 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States
Died: January 2, 2005

Maclyn McCarty was an American geneticist who became the first person to illustrate that genes were made of DNA. McCarty served as the Rockefeller University Hospital's physician-in-chief for 14 years. He also served as the vice president and a trusted adviser of Rockefeller University.

 13 Angelika Amon

Angelika Amon
Famous As: Molecular biologist
Birthdate: January 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 29, 2020