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Philip Leder

Philip Leder
Born (1934-11-19) November 19, 1934
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Fields Genetics
Molecular Biology
Alma mater Harvard University (M.D., 1960)[1]
Known for Nirenberg and Leder experiment
genetic code
Notable awards Richard Lounsbery Award (1981)
Dickson Prize (1981)
Albert Lasker Medical Research Award (1987)
National Medal of Science (1989)
Heineken Prize (1990)
William Allan Award (1997)
Robert Koch Prize (Gold, 2008)
Harvey Prize
Philip Leder

(born November 19, 1934) is an American geneticist.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Scientific Accomplishments 2
  • Positions 3
  • Awards 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

Leder was born in Washington, D.C. and studied at Harvard University, graduating in 1956. In 1960, he graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his medical residency at the University of Minnesota.

Scientific Accomplishments

Dr. Leder is one of the most accomplished scientists of the modern molecular genetics era, having made seminal contributions in each decade from the 1960s through the 1990s. He is perhaps best known for his early work with Timothy Stewart were granted the first patent on a genetically engineered animal. This animal, a mouse which had genes injected into its embryo to increase susceptibility to cancer, became known as the "oncomouse" and has been used in the laboratory study of cancer therapy.


In 1968, Leder headed the Biochemistry Department of the Graduate Program of the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institute of Health. In 1972 he was appointed director of the Laboratory for Molecular Genetics at the same institution and remained in that post until 1980 when he returned to Harvard Medical School as the founder of the newly formed Department of Genetics, occupying the John Emory Andrus Chair. He retired from this position in 2008.


Leder has been awarded various honors and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. His many prizes include the Lasker Award (1987), the National Medal of Science (1991), the Harvey Prize, and the Heineken Prize awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.


  1. ^
  • "The AAMC Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences. Philip Leder, M.D".  

External links

  • Biographical information Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
  • Links to digital facsimiles Leder's 'Codon notebooks' documenting the Nirenberg and Leder experiment can be found in HOLLIS, the Harvard University's library catalog
  • Philip Leder's listing in Research Matters, Harvard University
  • Esquire Magazine
  • Science's Barry Bonds(, 7/2004)
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