H. Robert Horvitz

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H. Robert Horvitz
Born Howard Robert Horvitz
(1947-05-08) May 8, 1947 (age 68)[1]
Nationality American
Fields Biology
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater
Thesis Modifications of the host RNA polymerase induced by coliphage T4 (1974)
Notable students Cornelia Bargmann[citation needed]
Known for Apoptosis research
Notable awards
Spouse Martha Constantine-Paton

Howard Robert Horvitz (born May 8, 1947) is an American biologist best known for his research on the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.[4][5][6]

Education and early life[edit]

Horvitz was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Mary R. (Savit), a school teacher, and Oscar Freedom Horvitz, a GAO accountant. He did his undergraduate studies at MIT in 1968, where he joined Alpha Epsilon Pi. He obtained his PhD in Biology from Harvard University in 1974.


As of 2015, Horvitz is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he is Professor of Biology and a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also serves as the chair of the board of trustees for Society for Science & the Public.

Horvitz is a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board.[7]


Robert Horvitz has over 255 publications, has been cited over 49,000 times and has an h-index of 108.[8]

  • Sulston, J.E.; Horvitz, H.R. (March 1977). "Post-embryonic cell lineages of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans". Developmental Biology 56 (1): 110–156. doi:10.1016/0012-1606(77)90158-0. 
  • Ellis, Hillary M.; Horvitz, H. Robert (28 March 1986). "Genetic control of programmed cell death in the nematode C. elegans". Cell 44 (6): 817–829. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(86)90004-8. 
  • Ellis, R E; Yuan, J; Horvitz, H R (November 1991). "Mechanisms and Functions of Cell Death". Annual Review of Cell Biology 7 (1): 663–698. doi:10.1146/annurev.cb.07.110191.003311. 
  • Yuan, J; Shaham, S; Ledoux, S; Ellis, HM; Horvitz, HR (19 November 1993). "The C. elegans cell death gene ced-3 encodes a protein similar to mammalian interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme.". Cell 75 (4): 641–52. PMID 8242740. 
  • Hengartner, MO; Horvitz, HR (25 February 1994). "C. elegans cell survival gene ced-9 encodes a functional homolog of the mammalian proto-oncogene bcl-2.". Cell 76 (4): 665–76. PMID 7907274. 

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Green, David B. (8 May 2015). "Biologist who discovered death genes' through worm research is born". This Day in Jewish History. Haaretz. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "H. Robert Horvitz – Nobel diploma". Nobel Prizes and Laureates. NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Fellows of the Royal Society". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. 
  4. ^ Horvitz, H. Robert (30 May 2012). "Genetic Control of Nematode Development and Behavior". Our scientists. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "H. Robert Horvitz – Curriculum Vitae". Nobel Prizes and Laureates. NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "H. Robert Horvitz – Autobiography". Nobel Prizes and Laureates. NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "USA Science and Engineering Festival - Advisors". Usasciencefestival.org. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Web of Science". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "Horwitz Prize Goes To MIT’s Horvitz, Harvard’s Korsmeyer". Columbia University Record 26 (8). 30 October 2000. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "H. Robert Horvits". Superstars of Science. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Altman, Lawrence K. (8 October 2002). "3 Win Nobel for Work on Suicidal Cells". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  • Badge, Peter; Turner, Nikolaus (2008). Nobel faces : a gallery of Nobel Prize winners. Weinheim [Germany]: Wiley-VCH. pp. 506–507. ISBN 9783527406784. 
  • Carey, Jr, Charles W. (2006). "Horvitz, H. Robert". American scientists. New York: Facts on File. pp. 179–180. ISBN 9781438108070. 
  • Drogin, Eric (2008). "Programmed cell death". Science for lawyers (1st ed.). Chicago, IL: American Bar Association. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9781590319260. 
  • Heemels, Marie-Thérèse (1 July 2004). "131 corpses and a Nobel prize". Nature Milestones (Nature Publishing Group). doi:10.1038/nrn1463. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  • Pelengaris, Stella; Khan, Mike. The Molecular Biology of Cancer: A Bridge from Bench to Bedside. pp. 269–270. ISBN 9781118430859. 
  • Stone, Nikki (2010). "Dr. H. Robert Horvitz". When turtles fly the secrets of successful people who know how to stick their necks out. New York: Morgan James. pp. 55–60. ISBN 9781600378010.