Jack W. Szostak
Department of Chemistry and the College
Jack W. Szostak’s recent research interests have focused on the laboratory synthesis of self-replicating systems and the origin of life. Previously, he and his colleagues developed in vitro selection as a tool for the isolation of functional RNA, DNA, and protein molecules from large pools of random sequences. Earlier in his career, he researched the genetics and biochemistry of DNA recombination, which led to the double-strand-break repair model for meiotic recombination and fundamental contributions to the understanding of telomere structure and function, and the role of telomere maintenance in preventing cellular senescence.
He is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Szostak received his BSc in cell biology from McGill University and his PhD in biochemistry at Cornell University. He previously held positions at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, and Harvard Medical School.