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Sir Richard J. Roberts

Richard J. Roberts
Born 6 September 1943 (1943-09-06) (age 66)
Nationality English
Fields molecular biologist
Known for introns
Notable awards 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Sir Richard John Roberts (born 6 September 1943 in Derby) is an English biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing.

Roberts is the son of a motor mechanic and housewife. When he was 4, the family moved to Bath. In Bath, he attended City of Bath Boys' School[1]. As a child he at first wanted to be a detective and then, when given a chemistry set, a chemist. He failed his Physics A-level exam on his first attempt.

In 2005, a multi-million pound expansion to the chemistry department at the University of Sheffield, where he had been a student, was named after him. A refurbished science department at Beechen Cliff School (previously City of Bath Boys' School) was also named after Roberts, who had donated a substantial sum of his Nobel prize winnings to the school.[2]

He was knighted in the 2008 Birthday Honours.


  • Shampo, Marc A; Kyle Robert A (February 2003). "Richard J. Roberts--Nobel Laureate for discovery of split genes". Mayo Clin. Proc. 78 (2): 132. doi:10.4065/78.2.132. PMID 12583523.  
  • Bartnik, E (1994). "[Nobel prizes in physiology, medicine and chemistry in 1993]". Postepy Biochem. 40 (1): 4–5. PMID 8208634.  
  • Boman, H (December 1993). "[The 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine--split genes]". Tidsskr. Nor. Laegeforen. 113 (30): 3666–7. PMID 8278945.  
  • Carr, K (October 1993). "Nobel goes to discoverers of 'split genes'". Nature 365 (6447): 597. doi:10.1038/365597a0. PMID 8413620.  

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