William J. Rutter

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William J. Rutter
William Rutter BIO SAW 2003.jpg
Born (1927-08-28) August 28, 1927 (age 95)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materBrigham Young University, Harvard University, University of Utah, University of Illinois
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, San Francisco; Chiron Corporation
Doctoral studentsRobert G. Roeder

William J. Rutter (born August 28, 1928)[1] is an American biochemist who cofounded the early biotechnology company Chiron Corporation together with Edward Penhoet and Pablo DT Valenzuela. As Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the University of California, San Francisco, Rutter helped establish that department as a leader in the academic side of the biotechnology during the San Francisco Bay Area biotech boom of the 1980s.[2]

Rutter spent a short time in the United States Navy and one year Brigham Young University, before completing a B.A. (1949) in biochemistry at Harvard University. He earned an M.S. (1950) from University of Utah and a PhD (1952) from the University of Illinois with a dissertation on galactosemia. Between 1952 and 1968, Rutter held positions at the University of Wisconsin, the Karolinska Institutet, University of Illinois, Stanford University, and University of Washington. In 1969, he moved to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he led the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics until 1982. From 1983 until 1989, Rutter was Director of the Hormone Research Institute at UCSF.[2]

In 1996, Rutter won the 2nd Annual Heinz Awards in Technology, the Economy and Employment and in 2003, he received the Biotechnology Heritage Award, from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ "Biographical Information - William J. Rutter". William Rutter oral history on Calisphere, University of California archive site. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Biographical Statement", Register of the William J. Rutter Papers, MSS 94-54, Archives & Special Collections, UCSF Library & CKM. Accessed March 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "Biotechnology Heritage Award". Science History Institute. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  4. ^ "Chemical Heritage Foundation and BIO give Biotechnology Heritage Award to William Rutter". ScienceBlog. 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Heinz Awards - William Rutter".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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