The Horvitz Lab

You have made your way from worm to man, and much within you is still worm. 

F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, Part 3

About H. Robert (Bob) Horvitz, Ph.D.

Bob is the David H. Koch Professor of Biology at MIT, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Member of the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research and a Member of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Bob received S.B. degrees in Mathematics and in Economics from MIT in 1968.  He performed his graduate studies of phage T4-induced modifications of E. coli RNA polymerase at Harvard University in the laboratories of Drs. James Watson and Walter Gilbert.  He received his Ph.D. in Biology in 1974. Bob then began his studies of C. elegans as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Sydney Brenner at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.  Since 1978, Bob has been an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His research involving C. elegans has helped define evolutionarily conserved molecular genetic pathways important in human biology and human disease, including the pathway responsible for programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

Bob is actively interested in science education and in the role of science in informing public policy.  He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Science and the Public (SSP), which runs science competitions for high school and middle school students – the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search (STS), the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), and the Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars (MASTERS) program; SSP also publishes Science News, which informs the lay public about the frontiers of science.  Bob is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Chair of the Coalition for the Life Sciences (CLS), an alliance of biomedical professional organizations working together to advocate for the support of basic biological research to Congress and the White House.  Bob is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital and of the Council of the National Academy of Medicine.  He was President of the Genetics Society of America and a member of the Advisory Council to the Director (ACD) of the NIH.  Bob has been a consultant to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and venture capital companies.

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