Gerald Joyce, The Scripps Research Institute, USA

Gerald F. Joyce is a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, and an Investigator of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He received his B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1978 and both an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1984. He carried out postgraduate medical training at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and postdoctoral research training at The Salk Institute before joining the faculty of The Scripps Research Institute in 1989.

Dr. Joyce’s research involves the test-tube evolution of RNA and DNA and the application of these methods to the development of novel functional nucleic acids. He also has a longstanding interest in the origins of life and the role of RNA in the early history of life on Earth. His laboratory described the first example, outside of biology, of a self-replicating molecule that is capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.

Dr. Joyce has published over 130 scientific papers and is the inventor of 11 issued patents. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2001 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. In 2005 he received the H.C. Urey Award, presented every six years by the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life; in 2009 he received the Dannie Heineman Prize, presented every two years by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences; and in 2010 he received the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Miller Medal, presented every five years in association with the Award for Early Earth and Life Sciences. He has been a member of the JASON advisory group for U.S. national security since 1996 and currently serves as its Chair. He is also a member of the Technology Advisory Council of BP.

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