Marc W. Kirschner PhD

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award, 2001
"For his pioneering work in the understanding of the structure, function and dynamics of microtubules."

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Dr. Marc Kirschner is the quintessential Cell Biologist. The breadth of his knowledge and the scope of his research are unique: he has made extremely important contributions in three seperate areas of modern Cell Biology. His studies of tubulin and associated proteins constitute a large fraction of our current understanding of the structure, dynamics and regulation of microtubules. In addition, Dr. Kirschner has contributed greatly to the elucidation of the pathways that underlie morphogenesis, using amphibians as a model. Last but not least, he has been instrumental in identifying the elements that control the progression of the cell cycle. Dr. Kirschner's versatility and integrative ability are unprecedented in modern Biology.

Dr. Kirschner is a graduate of Northwestern University and obtained his PhD degree from the University of California at Berkeley. His postdoctoral training was initially at Berkeley and subsequently at Oxford, UK. In 1972, he was appointed Assistant Professor at Princeton University where he remained until 1978, the year he was promoted to Professor of Biochemical Sciences. He next spent fifteen years at the University of California, San Francisco, before becoming Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard in 1993. Dr. Kirschner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London and of the Academia Europaea.