H. Robert Horvitz

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H. Robert Horvitz
Born Howard Robert Horvitz
(1947-05-08) May 8, 1947 (age 68)
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.[2][3][4]

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.[5] 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 he 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.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Spencer Award in Neurobiology
  • 1988 U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology
  • 1991 He became a member of U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • 1993 V.D. Mattia Award (Roche Institute of Molecular Biology)
  • 1994 Hans Sigrist Award
  • 1995 Charles A. Dana Award
  • 1996 Ciba-Drew Award for Biomedical Science
  • 1998 Rosenstiel Award
  • 1998 Pasano Award for the Advancement of Medical Science
  • 1998 General Motors Research Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize
  • 1999 Gairdner Foundation International Award
  • 2000 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize
  • 2000 Segerfalk Award
  • 2000 arch of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology
  • 2000 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry
  • 2000 Charles-Leopold Mayer Prize (French Academy of Sciences)
  • 2001 Bristol -Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience
  • 2001 Genetics Society of American Medal
  • 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sydney Brenner and John Sulston[7]
  • 2009 Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)[1]