Bruce Alberts

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Bruce Alberts

Bruce Michael Alberts (born April 14, 1938 in Chicago , Illinois ) is an American biochemist and was President of the National Academy of Sciences from 1993 to 2005 . From 2008 to 2013 he was editor-in-chief of Science .


He studied at Harvard University , where he obtained his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in biochemistry in 1960 and his doctorate on DNA replication ( Characterization of a naturally occurring, cross-linked fraction of deoxyribonucleic acid ) under Paul M. Doty in 1965 . As a post-doctoral student , he worked with Richard H. Epstein at the University of Geneva, where he isolated one of the genes of the bacteriophage T 4 that it needs for replication in bacteria. In 1966 he became Assistant Professor, 1971 Associate Professor and in 1973 he became Professor of Biochemistry at Princeton University . In 1976 he became a professor at the University of California, San Francisco , where he was American Cancer Society Research Professor from 1981 to 1985 and 1990 to 1993, and from 1985 to 1990 headed the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

In addition to his excellent reputation as a biochemist (especially for his work on protein complexes for the regulation of DNA replication), he is also known as the editor and author of the worldwide standard textbook on molecular biology .


In 1975 Alberts received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology , in 1978 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and 1981 to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 1995 he received the Gairdner Foundation International Award . He has been an external member of the Royal Society since 1993 and of the Academia Europaea since 1994 . In 2003 he became a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences . He was President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of the American Society for Cell Biology in 2007/2008 .

The Michigan State University (1996) and the University of Tel Aviv (2005) awarded him honorary doctorates .

In 2010 he became one of the first US Science Envoys for Islamic countries alongside Elias Zerhouni and Ahmed Zewail . In the same year he received the Vannevar Bush Award . In 2012 Alberts was awarded the National Medal of Science and in 2014 the Centennial Medal of Harvard University . In 2016 Alberts was awarded the Lasker ~ Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science .


The famous worldwide standard textbooks of molecular biology are often referred to by students and teachers as “little Alberts” and “big Alberts”. However, the “small one” already has a volume of over 900 pages, the “large Alberts” has a volume of over 1800 pages. As is typical for American textbooks, these books are structured relatively loosely and forego the “compactness” that is often typical of German textbooks in favor of comprehensibility.

  • Textbook of molecular cell biology "small Alberts" (B. Alberts et al.) 3rd edition 2005, Wiley-VCH Verlag ISBN 978-3527311606
  • Molecular biology of the “great Albert” cell (B. Alberts et al.), 5th edition 2011, Wiley-VCH Verlag ISBN 978-3527323845

Both books have been translated into numerous languages ​​and have appeared in various editions.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Membership directory: Bruce Alberts. Academia Europaea, accessed January 12, 2018 (English, with biographical and other information).
  2. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724: Bruce Alberts. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed January 12, 2018 (Russian).
  3. List of honorary doctorates from Michigan State University ( memento of the original from February 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ List of honorary doctorates from Tel Aviv University
  5. Cheryl Pellerin, First US Science Envoys Begin Work in Muslim Majority Countries