Paul Berg Biography
(American Biochemist and Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Birthday: June 30, 1926 (Cancer)
Born In: Brooklyn, New York
Paul Berg is an American biochemist who won a share of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980. His development of a technique for splicing together deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from different types of organisms was one of the biggest contributions to the field of genetics in the 20th century. The son of a clothing manufacturer in New York, he developed an interest in science during his school days. An avid reader, he was deeply influenced by the books ‘Arrowsmith’ by Sinclair Lewis and ‘Microbe Hunters’ by Paul DeKruif which in part influenced him to become a scientist. The unwavering support of one his teachers also helped him to recognize his calling in the scientific field. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Penn State University and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University following which he began his academic career. He worked as a professor at Washington University School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine where he spent several years of his career. He also served as the director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine. He continues to be active in research even after his retirement from his administrative and teaching posts in 2000.