Oswald T. Avery - Bacteriologist from Rockefeller University who discovered
that bacterial DNA was the hereditary material in bacterial genes, proving
that DNA is the genetic material responsible for heredity.
David Baltimore - President of Caltech, awarded the Nobel Prize for
Physiology or Medicine in 1975, along with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco
for discovering how certain cancer-causing viruses affect genes. He has
been influential in the area of recombinant DNA and his work has had a
profound effect on understanding HIV.
Seymour Benzer - Caltech professor and winner of the National Medal
of Science; a physicist in the 40's, a molecular biologist since
the 50's, and one of the first to study the connection between genes
Paul Berg - Winner of 1980 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Walter Gilbert
and Frederick Sanger for his work on the biochemistry of nucleic acid,
especially recombinant DNA.
Sir Lawrence Bragg - - (1890-1971) Succeeded Rutherford's chair
at Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University and took over crystallography.
Torbjörn Caspersson - Watson had planned to work at Caspersson's
laboratory at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Copenhagen in 1950,
but he never did so. Caspersson's specialty was instrumentation and
he pioneered the use of the ultraviolet microscope to study nucleic acids
Erwin Chargaff - A Columbia University chemist who, in 1949 discovered
a pattern in the amounts of the four bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine,
and thymine (A=T, and G=C). This discovery later became Chargaff's
Rule and was instrumental to Watson and Crick's discovery of the
structure of DNA.
Martha Chase - Responsible, along with Alfred Hershey, for the 1952
experiment that connected DNA and heredity.
Francis Collins - Current director of the National Human Genome Research
Institute (NHGRI) at NIH. In 1989 his research team identified the gene
for cystic fibrosis.
Francis Crick - Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, and winner of
the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Currently of the Salk
Institute, friend and collaborator of James Watson. Authored "Of
Molecules and Men." http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0295978694/qid=985369513/sr=1-4/ref=sc_b_5/107-6622482-3166935
Max Delbrück - (1906-1981) Crucial part of the "Phage Group".
Idolized by Watson because of his role in "What Is Life" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521427088/qid=985367518/sr=1-1/ref=sc_b_2/107-6622482-3166935
Winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Medicine, along with Salvador Luria
and Alfred Hershey, for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism
and the genetic structures of viruses. Among other things, in1939 he discovered
a simple process for growing bacteriophages, and in 1946, that genetic
material from different viruses can combine to produce a third virus.
Renato Dulbecco - Worked side-by-side with Watson in the late 40's
in the "Phage Group". Winner of 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine
with David Baltimore and Howard Temin for discovering how certain cancer-causing
viruses affect genes. Currently at the Salk Institute, working towards
understanding breast cancer.
Judah Folkman - M.D. at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital
who recently pioneered two drugs, angiostatin and endostatin. Folkman
claims that these drugs can achieve complete regression of malignant tumors
in mice by cutting off the blood supply.
Rosalind Franklin - Biophysicist who produced the all-important photograph
of DNA in 1952 proving its double helix structure. Sadly, she died before
the Nobel Prize was awarded. (The Nobel Prize is never given posthumously).
George Gamow - Physicist who developed the "big bang" theory
and invented the liquid drop model of the nucleus. He got interested in
genetics in the 50's and sent Crick and Watson a letter outlining
a mathematical code connecting the 20 amino acids and the structure of
DNA. Although his idea was never proven, it stimulated the eventual success
of Nirenberg and Matthaei in deciphering the human genetic code. He was
author of the popular Tompkins Series. He started the RNA Tie Club.
Walter Gilbert - Received the 1980 Nobel Prize for chemistry along with
Paul Berg and Frederick Sanger for the development of methods used to
diagram the structure and function of DNA. He is currently at Harvard
Bernadine Healy - Appointed by George Bush in 1991 to run NIH, she was
an antagonist to James Watson. She is currently president of the American
Alfred Hershey - discovered in 1946 that genetic material (DNA) from
different viruses can combine to produce a third virus. In 1952 he and
Martha Chase discovered that during infection, a phage transfers only
DNA, and the protein remains outside the cell. In 1969, he won the 1969
Nobel Prize for Medicine with Salvador Luria and Max Delbrück, for
their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic
structures of viruses.
Mahlon Hoagland - Director of the Worcester Foundation. His work led
to the discovery of transfer RNA, proving Crick's proposal.
Dorothy Hodgkin - English biochemist who took the first x-ray diffraction
Robert Hutchins - President of the University of Chicago, he instigated
revolutionary ideas in education, specifically, allowing students to enter
college two years early. He was an inspiration to Watson in his college
Hugh Huxley - One of Max Perutz's group of molecular biologists
at Cavendish Laboratory in the early 1950's. Currently at M.R.C.
(Medical Research Council) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge,
England, winner of The Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1997.
Francis Jacob - Biologist who won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology
or Medicine along with Andre Lwoff and Jacques Monod for their discovery
of the genetic control over the production of proteins and enzymes.
Herman Kalckar - Biochemist who took Delbrück's first phage
course at Cold Spring Harbor. Watson studied nucleic acids in his lab
in 1950, in Copenhagen.
John Kendrew - (1917-1997) One of Max Perutz's group at Cavendish
Laboratory in the early 1950's. Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for
Chemistry, along with Max Perutz.
Arthur Kornberg - Physician who synthesized DNA in 1957, and a biologically
active form in 1967. Received the Nobel Prize in 1959 along with Severo
Ochoa for discovering the biological mechanisms of RNA and DNA synthesis.
Salvador Luria - head of the "Phage Group" at Indiana University
in the 40's and 50's. Teacher and mentor to Watson. Winner of
Nobel Prize in 1969 in Physiology or Medicine, with Max Delbrück
and Alfred Hershey, for discoveries related to replication and genetic
structure of viruses.
Andre Lwoff - Biologist from the Institut Pasteur who won the 1965 Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Jacob and Jacques Monod,
for their discovery of the genetic control over the production of proteins
David Mahoney - Endowed the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute (HMNI),
which studies problems of the brain including Alzheimer's disease,
depression and addiction. In the year 2000, posthumously awarded the first
Mary Woodard Lasker Leadership in Philanthropy Award for his support of
Jacques Monod - Won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along
with Francis Jacob and Andre Lwoff for their discovery of the genetic
control over the production of proteins and enzymes.
Thomas Hunt Morgan - Won the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 1933
for his discoveries on the role of chromosomes in heredity.
Marshall Niremburg - Cracked the genetic code in 1964. Won the Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968, along with Gobind Khorana and
Robert Holley "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its
function in protein synthesis".
Severo Ochoa - (1905-1993) Won the 1959 Nobel in Medicine, with Arthur
Kornberg, for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis
of RNA and DNA.
Linus Pauling - Author of "The Nature of the Chemical Bond,
and Structure of Molecules and Crystals," http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801403332/qid=985367162/sr=1-17/ref=sc_b_18/107
-given to Watson by Francis Crick for Christmas in 1951. The book was
of great significance in Watson's study of chemistry. Watson considered
Pauling his primary competition in the race to discover the structure
Max Perutz - Head of the MRC (Medical Research Council) Unit for Molecular
Biology at Cavendish Laboratory when Watson visited in the early 1950's.
Perutz won the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with John Kendrew.
Alexander Rich - Worked with Linus Pauling as a research fellow at Caltech
in the early 1950's. He won the National Medal of Science in 1995.
Frederick Sanger - Winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1958 for
his work on the structure of insulin. Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for
Chemistry along with Walter Gilbert for their contribution to the determination
of base sequences in nucleic acids.
Erwin Schrödinger - Physicist whose work "What Is Life?"
polarized Watson towards finding the answer to the gene. The book,
famous in the scientific community, proposed that DNA is the "information
carrier" and key to understanding heredity.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi - (1893-1986) Biochemist, first to isolate
Vitamin C, he received the 1937 Nobel Prize for his discovery. Watson
wrote the beginning of The Double Helix A Personal Account of the Discovery
of the Structure of DNA http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393950751/qid=985367579/sr=1-1/ref=sc_b_2/107-6622482-3166935
while staying at Szent-Gyorgyi's home.
Wendell M. Stanley - Biochemist who crystallized a tobacco mosaic virus.
Howard Temin - Winner of 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,
along with David Baltimore and Renato Dulbecco, for discovering how certain
cancer-causing viruses affect genes.
Alexander Todd - Sir Alexander Robertus Todd was professor of Organic
Chemistry at Cambridge. His demonstration that nucleic acids contain sugar
and phosphate groups was instrumental in Watson and Crick's discovery
of the structure of DNA. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1957.
Elizabeth Watson - Wife of James Watson. Authored "Houses for
Science : A Pictorial History of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory."
Edward O. Wilson - Ecologist and field biologist, he was at Harvard
at the same time as Watson. Wilson won the National Medal of Science and
the Pulitzer Prize in literature. He is the author of many books including
Sewall Wright - Geneticist at the University of Chicago, where Watson
was inspired by his class on population genetics.