James R. Killian Award & Lecture Series


Award recipients: Biology

Rudolph Jaenisch
Lecture title: "Making Stem-cell Therapy a Reality"
September 28, 2010

Rudolf Jaenisch, professor of biology and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute, was MIT's James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award winner for 2009–2010. A pioneer in the field of mammalian developmental genetics, Professor Jaenisch helped found the area of transgenic science, the science of gene transfer for making mouse models, which is now widely used for studying human genetic diseases. Read more at MIT News.

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H. Robert Horvitz
Lecture title: "Worms, Life and Death: Cell Suicide in Development and Disease"
April 24, 2007

Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz, the David H. Koch professor of cancer biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, was the winner of the 2006–2007 James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award. The Horvitz laboratory has identified genes and proteins involved in the four-step genetic pathway of cell division and death, work that has potential for application in the treatment of human diseases. Read more about Professor Horvitz's lecture at MIT News.

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Robert A. Weinberg PhD '69
Lecture title: "Genes and the Origins of Human Cancer"
April 24, 2000

Robert Weinberg, the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research and American Cancer Society professor of biology, is one of the country's most eminent cell biologists. As the winner of the prestigious James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, he delivered the Killian lecture, "Genes and the Origins of Human Cancer." Read more at MIT News.

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Phillip A. Sharp
Spring 1994

The 1993–1994 Killian Award lecturer was Phillip A. Sharp, then head of the Department of Biology and later, Institute Professor and Nobel laureate. A scientist internationally recognized for his contributions to molecular biology, Professor Sharp and his laboratory were commended by the selection committee for providing "some of the most insightful and definitive work on the complex but robust molecular mechanisms that make [RNA] splicing so common in nature. He has also succeeded in identifying quite a few of the proteins or so-called 'transcription factors' that govern whether and when a gene gets read out into RNA at all. And he has been involved with manipulating the genes themselves via various artificial splicings and cloning, both in the laboratory and in the biotech industry." Read more at MIT News.

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Alexander Rich
Spring 1981

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