Phillip Allen Sharp

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This article is about the American geneticist. For other people, see Philip Sharp.
Phillip Allen Sharp
Phillip A Sharp NIH.jpg
Sharp in 2009
Born (1944-06-06) June 6, 1944 (age 70)
Falmouth, Kentucky
Nationality American
Fields Biologist
Institutions Caltech
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Alma mater Union College
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Doctoral students Andrew Fire
Notable awards NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1980)
Dickson Prize (1991)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1993)
National Medal of Science (2004)
Spouse Ann Holcombe

Phillip Allen Sharp (born June 6, 1944) is an American geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing. He shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Richard J. Roberts for "the discovery that genes in eukaryotes are not contiguous strings but contain introns, and that the splicing of messenger RNA to delete those introns can occur in different ways, yielding different proteins from the same DNA sequence".


Sharp was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, the son of Kathrin (Colvin) and Joseph Walter Sharp.[1] He studied at Union College and majored in chemistry and mathematics. He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969. After completing his Ph.D., he worked at the California Institute of Technology until 1971, where he studied plasmids and, later, gene expression in human cells at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under James Dewey Watson.

In 1974, he was offered a position at MIT by biologist Salvador Luria. He was director of MIT's Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research) from 1985 to 1991; head of the Biology department from 1991 to 1999; and director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research from 2000 to 2004. He is currently a professor of Biology and has been an Institute Professor since 1999; he is also a member of the Koch Institute. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now part of Biogen Idec), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and Magen Biosciences, and serves on the boards of all three companies.[2] He is an editorial advisor to Xconomy, and is a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.


Phillip Sharp with George W. Bush, at the National Medal of Science awards in 2006.

In 1988 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Thomas R. Cech. And in 1999 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences of the American Philosophical Society.[3]

Pendleton County, Kentucky — Sharp's birthplace — named its current middle school after him.

In Oct 2010 Sharp will be participating in the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Lunch with a Laureate program where middle and high school students will get to engage in an informal conversation with a Nobel Prize–winning scientist over a brown-bag lunch.[4] Sharp is also a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board.[5] In 2011, he was listed at #5 on the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT. Sharp has served on the Faculty Advisory Board of the MIT Harvard Research Journal and MIT Student Research Association.

In 2011 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.[6]

Private life[edit]

Sharp married Ann Holcombe in 1964. They have three daughters.

Awards And Nominations[edit]

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

  • 1993

Double Helix Medal

RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2013

Selected publications[edit]

  • Petersen C.P., Bordeleau M.E., Pelletier J., Sharp P.A. (17 February 2006). "Short RNAs Repress Translation after Initiation in Mammalian Cells". Mol Cell. 21 (4): 533–42. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2006.01.031. PMID 16483934. 
  • Tantin D., Schild-Poulter C., Wang V., Hache R.J., Sharp P.A. (1 December 2005). "The Octamer Binding Transcription Factor Oct-1 is a Stress Sensor". Cancer Res. 65 (23): 10750–8. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2399. PMID 16322220. 
  • Miskevich F., Doench J.G., Townsend M.T., Sharp P.A., Constantine-Paton M. (15 April 2006). "RNA Interference of Xenopus NMDAR NR1 in vitro and in vivo". J Neurosci Methods 152 (1–2): 65–73. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2005.08.010. PMID 16182372. 
  • Hong J.H., Hwang E.S., McManus M.T., Amsterdam A., Tian Y., Kalmukova R., Mueller E., Benjamin T., Spiegelman B.M., Sharp P.A., Hopkins N., Yaffe M.B. (12 August 2005). "TAZ, a Transcriptional Modulator of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation". Science 309 (5737): 1074–8. doi:10.1126/science.1110955. PMID 16099986. 
  • Johnson D.M., Yamaji S., Tennant J., Srai S.K., Sharp P.A. (28 March 2005). "Regulation of Divalent Metal Transporter Expression in Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells Following Exposure to Non-haem Iron". FEBS Lett. 579 (9): 1923–9. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2005.02.035. PMID 15792797. 
  • Neilson J.R., Sharp P.A. (April 2005). "Herpesviruses Throw a Curve Ball: New Insights into microRNA Biogenesis and Evolution". Nat Methods 2 (4): 252–4. doi:10.1038/nmeth0405-252. PMID 15782215. 
  • Lee K.B., Sharp P.A. (7 December 2004). "Transcription-dependent Polyubiquitination of RNA Polymerase II Requires Lysine 63 of Ubiquitin". Biochemistry 43 (48): 15223–9. doi:10.1021/bi048719x. PMID 15568815. 
  • Mansfield J.H., Harfe B.D., Nissen R., Obenauer J., Srineel J., Chaudhuri A., Farzan-Kashani R., Zuker M., Pasquinelli A.E., Ruvkun G., Sharp P.A., Tabin C.J., McManus M.T. (October 2004). "MicroRNA-responsive 'Sensor' Transgenes Uncover Hox-like and Other Developmentally Regulated Patterns of Vertebrate MicroRNA Expression". Nat. Genet. 36 (10): 1079–83. doi:10.1038/ng1421. PMID 15361871. 

See also[edit]

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Biogen Idec, Inc. (2008). “Proxy statement for annual meeting of stockholders to be held on June 19, 2008 at 9:00 A.M., local time″, 7.
  3. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences Recipients". American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Lunch with a Laureate at the Wayback Machine (archived April 21, 2010). (2010)
  5. ^ Furthermore, Sharp participates in the Distinguished Lecture Series of the annual Research Science Institute (RSI), a summer research program for high school students held at MIT. Advisors.
  6. ^ "Royal Society". Royal Society. Retrieved 2010-03-20.