Richard J. Roberts

Richard J. Roberts


Richard J Roberts is an English biochemist and molecular biologist born on 6 September 1943, In Derby, England.

Family Background:

He is the son of John Roberts and his wife Edna Allsop. His father was an auto mechanic by profession while his mother was a homemaker.

Personal Life:

Richard married Jean. They have four children namely, Alison, Andrew, Christopher, and Amanda.


He attended the Christ Church infant school later St Stephen’s Boys’ School. Completing his elementary studies, he attended the City of Bath Boys’ School. following his primary education, He enrolled at the University of Sheffield. In 1965, He completed his graduation from the same college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. After four years, He completed his Ph.D. degree.


While doing his Ph.D., Richard J Roberts came across a book by John Kendrew that turned his focus to molecular biology. For his further study, he looked for a laboratory that would provide him the pathway into molecular biology. At Harvard, Jack Strominger had offered him an opportunity and he worked there from 1969 to 1972. In 1972, He moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he worked under James Dewey Watson, co-discovered the structure of DNA. In 1974, He was joined through Richard Gelinas to define the initiation and termination signals for an Adenovirus-2 mRNA. In March 1977, Roberts came up with an experiment that displayed the proposed split structure for Adenovirus-2 mRNAs was accurate. Soon the duo had been joined by Louise Chow and Tom Broker. These scientists aimed at visualizing the split structure by hybridizing an intact mRNA to its two different coding regions. In 1992, Roberts had moved to New England Biolabs, and here he had started the establishment mainly to produce restriction enzymes for commercial sale.

Unknown Facts:

  • His middle name is John.
  • He honored the Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences, US & Canada.

Master Stroke:

  • Richard’s most brilliant work came in the 1970s when he successfully discovered split genes. The discovery had been crucial and important in the significant world as until then.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 1993, He and Phillip A. Sharp were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize Physiology.
  • In 1995, He had been elected Fellow of the Royal Society.

What can we learn from Him??

Like Richard J. Roberts, Always do creativity and learn new things from your mistakes.

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