Russell Doolittle

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Russell F. Doolittle (born 1931) is an American biochemist at the University of California, San Diego, whose research focuses on the structure and evolution of proteins.[1] Born in Connecticut,[2] he earned a B.A. in Biology from Wesleyan University in 1952, and an M.A. in Education from Trinity College in 1957. He earned his Ph.D in biochemistry at Harvard University in 1962 with research in blood clotting. He has done postdoctoral research in Sweden funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Notably he co-developed the hydropathy index, and was instrumental in determining the structure of fibrinogen. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1984, was a Guggenheim Fellow and is a co-recipient of the Paul Ehrlich Prize.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985.[3] In addition, he has calculated the date of the divergence of all life forms from a common ancestor.[4] In 2006, Doolittle was awarded the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences.[5]

He is a critic of creationism[6] and intelligent design and has accused Michael Behe, an ID proponent, of misquoting his work.[7]


  • Russell F. Doolittle, Of Urfs and Orfs: A Primer on how to Analyze Derived Amino Acid. (University Science Books, December 1986) ISBN 0-935702-54-7
  • Russell F. Doolittle, John N. Abelson, and Melvin I. Simon, Computer Methods for Macromolecular Sequence Analysis (Methods in Enzymology) (Academic Press, 1996) ISBN 0-12-182167-6
  • Russell F. Doolittle, The Evolution of Vertebrate Blood Clotting (University Science Books, August 2012) ISBN 978-1-891389-81-8
  • John N. Abelson, Melvin I. Simon, and Russell F. Doolittle, Molecular Evolution: Computer Analysis of Protein and Nucleic Acid Sequences, Volume 183: Volume 183: Molecular Evolution (Methods in Enzymology) (Academic Press, Feb 28, 1990) ISBN 0-12-182084-X
  • Mosesson, Michael W. and Doolittle, Russell F. Molecular biology of fibrinogen and fibrin (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences) (New York Academy of Sciences, 1983) ISBN 0-89766-209-1


  1. ^ a b "Russell Doolittle". University of California, San Diego. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  2. ^ Doolittle, Russell (2008). "Biography of Dr Doolittle" (PDF). University of California, San Diego. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter D" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Menon, Shanti (June 1996). "A new tree of life - Russell Doolittle calculates a new, more recent date for the divergence of all life forms from a common ancestor". Discover. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  5. ^ "John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Russell Doolittle, "The Probability and Origin of Life" in Scientists Confront Creationism (1984) Ed. Laurie R. Godfrey, p. 85
  7. ^ Doolittle, Russell (February–March 1997). "A Delicate Balance". Boston Review. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 

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