Issue Date: August 20, 2007
Phillip Sharp Receives Winthrop-Sears Award
Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and cofounder of Biogen, has won the 2007 Winthrop-Sears Award, presented by the Chemists' Club of New York. The award recognizes individuals who, by their entrepreneurial action, have contributed to the vitality of the chemical industry and the betterment of mankind. The award is named in honor of two of America's earliest chemical entrepreneurs, John Winthrop Jr. and John Sears.
Sharp's research focuses on mechanisms controlling gene expression in human cells. In 1993, Sharp and Richard J. Roberts received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their independent discoveries that individual genes are often interrupted by long sections of DNA that do not encode protein structure.
Currently, Sharp's research group at MIT is studying the mechanisms responsible for the activities of short interfering RNA (siRNA) in hopes of increasing their effectiveness in gene silencing. The group is also investigating the roles of short RNA in transcriptional silencing in murine embryonic stem cells. Sharp is cofounder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., that is developing RNAi therapeutics.
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