Richard J. Roberts Biography
(Biochemist, Molecular Biologist)
Birthday: September 6, 1943 (Virgo)
Born In: Derby, England,
Richard John Roberts is an English biochemist and molecular biologist who was felicitated with Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the mechanism of gene-splicing. He shared the prize with Philip Sharp who independently carried out similar work in the field. Roberts’ fantasy with chemistry started as early as in high school. He was so interested by the subject that he chose to make it his career. Following his graduate studies and doctoral thesis, Roberts made his way to Harvard and eventually the Cold Harbor Laboratory. It was at the laboratory that Roberts first found success in restriction enzymes. By 1972, he discovered or characterized almost three quarter of the world’s first restriction enzymes. Later in 1977, Roberts demonstrated how RNA can be divided up into introns and exons, after which the exons can be joined together. The discovery was crucial as until then the scientific world believed that genes comprised of unbroken sketches of DNA. The discovery had important implication for the study of genetic diseases. Furthermore, it allowed different parts of the gene to be brought together in new combinations.