Ronald R. Breaker, Ph.D. (born 1964) is the Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He earned his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute under the supervision of Gerald Joyce. While at Scripps, he isolated the first DNA enzyme (deoxyribozyme). He then began his independent career at Yale University. Among his major accomplishments is the discovery of riboswitches. His current research is focused on understanding advanced functions of nucleic acids, including the discovery and analysis of riboswitches and ribozymes. He has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator since 2005.
Breaker is a member of the JASON defense advisory group, and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2013.
- AAAS Fellow, 2004
- American Society for Microbiology Eli Lilly Award, 2005
- NAS Award in Molecular Biology, 2006
- Rolf Sammet Professorship, Goethe University Frankfurt, 2012
- Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, 2010
- U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2013
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Purdue University, 2014