Production in the Innovation Economy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Phillip A. Sharp

  • Institute Professor and Professor of Biology
  • Co-chair, PIE

Phillip A. Sharp

Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor and member of the Koch Institute at MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1974 after completing his postdoctoral training at Caltech with Norman Davidson (1969-1971) and Cold Spring Harbor with Jim Watson (1971-1974).

Sharp's research on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing provided one of the first indications of the startling phenomenon of "discontinuous genes" in mammalian cells. For this work, Sharp was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign Fellow of the Royal Society of the UK, and is also the recipient of the National Medal of Science.

He served as director of the Center for Cancer Research, now the Koch Institute, from 1985 to 1991, was Head of the Department of Biology from 1991 to 1999 and was the Founding Director of the McGovern Institute from 2000 to 2004.

A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1969. He is co-founder of Biogen (1978; now Biogen Idec) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (2002).