James Dewey Watson
April 6, 1928
Place of Birth:
James Watson was one of three scientists who co-founded DNA.
He was the single child of James Watson and Jean Mitchell.
He received his early and high school education in Chicago.
Watson was a gifted student and was able to enter university at the age of 15.
He completed his B.Sc.degree program in 1947 at the University of Chicago.
Both California Tech and Harvard University turned James Watson down for graduate studies.
Watson then enrolled at Indiana State University finishing a Ph. D. in Genetics.
In 1950, Watson joined a project at Cavandish Laboratories with other scientist in researching DNA.
It was here James Watson met Francis Crick and the two tried to find out more about the structure of living matter.
Because they lacked success, they were cut off from working on the project at Cavandish.
Instead they worked in secret and, in 1953, found how deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was formed.
Part of their work was due to work by Maurice Wilkins who used improved x-ray images for DNA.
In 1962, the three scientists shared in the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.
Watson was accepted to work in 1955 at Harvard as a Biology Professor and left this post in 1976..
He later became Director of the Human Genome Project undertaking controversial genetic research.
James Watson has been honored by being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Academy of Achievement
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Last Updated: January 22, 2017
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