James Watson is an American molecular biologist, zoologist and geneticist. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for discovering the structure of DNA. James was born on April 6, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. His complete name was James Dewy Watson.
As a child James loved bird watching with his father. This was the reason why during his undergraduate years he studied ornithology. He changed his major to the study of genetics after reading Schrodinger’s book ‘What Is Life?’
Quick Facts: –
- He attended the University of Chicago earning a degree in zoology in 1947 and received his doctorate in 1950 from Indiana University.
- In 1950 James went to Copenhagen University in Denmark for a year of postdoctoral research.
- In 1955 James Watson was appointed professor of biology at Harvard University. He held this position until 1976.
- Watson wrote “Molecular Biology of the Gene” in 1965 and ‘The Double Helix in 1968.
- He became director of Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in 1968 and retired in 1968.
- In 1990, he was appointed as the Head of the Human Genome Project, a position he held for two years.
- James Watson along with Francis Crickprovided further explanation on Oswald Avery’s work on DNA given in 1944.
- His autobiography titled as “Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science”, got published in 2007.
- In early 2007 Watson’s own genome was sequenced and made publicly available on the Internet.