© The Nobel Foundation
Robert Horvitz


American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

H. Robert Horvitz: Nobel
Prize in Physiology or
Medicine, in 2002
by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Howard Robert Horvitz is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 2002, which he shared with Sydney Brenner and John E. Sulston for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.

Horvitz was born on May 6, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. He is the son of Mary Savit and Oscar Horvitz, who were the first born children of immigrant parents who came from Eastern Europe. His father became a certified accountant in 1947. They moved to Skokie, Illinois, because they had a better school system than Chicago. His mother was a school teacher, who stopped working when his sister. When his father died, his mother resumed her teaching career until she retired in 1988.

When he graduated high school, Horvitz attended Harvard University and he received his M.A. in biology, in 1972. He remained at Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in biology, in 1974.

In 1978, he became an Assistant Professor of Biology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1978, he became an Associate Professor of Biology and in 1986, a Professor of Biology. In 1978, he became an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and MIT.

Howard Robert Horvitz has received many awards and honors:
● Spencer Award in Neurobiology
● U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, 1988
● He became a member of U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 1991
● V.D. Mattia Award (Roche Institute of Molecular Biology), 1993
● Hans Sigrist Award, 1994
● Charles A. Dana Award, 1995
● Ciba-Drew Award for Biomedical Science, 1996
● Rosenstiel Award, 1998
● Pasano Award for the Advancement of Medical Science, 1998
● General Motors Research Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize, 1998
● Gairdner Foundation International Award, 1999
● Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, 2000
● Segerfalk Award, 2000
● March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, 2000
● Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry, 2000
● Charles-Leopold Mayer Prize (French Academy of Sciences), 2000
● Bristol -Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience, 2001
● Genetics Society of American Medal, 2001

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