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Herbert Boyer

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Fields  Biology
Organizations founded  Genentech
Spouse  Grace Boyer (m. 1959)

Role  Entrepreneur
Name  Herbert Boyer
Movies  Something Ventured
Herbert Boyer Gallery 34 Herbert Boyer DNA Learning Center

Born  July 10, 1936 (age 86) (1936-07-10)
Alma mater  Saint Vincent College (B.S., 1958)University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D. 1963)
Notable awards  National Medal of Science (1990)
Education  Saint Vincent College, University of Pittsburgh
Awards  Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
Similar People  Stanley Norman Cohen, Robert A Swanson, Paul Berg, Thomas Perkins, Don Valentine

Stanley cohen and herbert boyer co recipients of 1996 lemelson mit prize

Herbert Wayne "Herb" Boyer (born July 10, 1936) is a researcher and entrepreneur in biotechnology. Along with Stanley N. Cohen and Paul Berg he discovered a method to coax bacteria into producing foreign proteins, thereby jump starting the field of genetic engineering. He is recipient of the 1990 National Medal of Science, co-recipient of the 1996 Lemelson–MIT Prize, and a co-founder of Genentech. He served as Vice President of Genentech from 1976 until his retirement in 1991.


Herbert Boyer httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

The meeting that started the first biotech company herbert boyer cold spring harbor laboratory

Life and career

Herbert Boyer Herbert Boyer Simple English Wikipedia the free

Boyer was born in Derry, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1958. He married his wife Grace the following year. He received his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in 1963 and participated as an activist in the civil rights movement. He spent three years in post-graduate work at Yale University in the laboratories of Professors Edward Adelberg and Bruce Carlton, then became an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco and a Professor of Biochemistry from 1976 to 1991, where he discovered that genes from bacteria could be combined with genes from eukaryotes. In 1977, Boyer's laboratory and collaborators Keiichi Itakura and Arthur Riggs at City of Hope National Medical Center described the first-ever synthesis and expression of a peptide-coding gene. In August 1978, he produced synthetic insulin using his new transgenic genetically modified bacteria, followed in 1979 by a growth hormone.

Herbert Boyer Herbert W Boyer Wikiwand

In 1976, Boyer founded Genentech with venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson. Genentech's approach to the first synthesis of insulin won out over Walter Gilbert's approach at Biogen which used whole genes from natural sources. Boyer built his gene from its individual nucleotides.

Herbert Boyer FileHerbert Boyer HD2005 at Podium cropJPG Wikimedia Commons

In 1990 April, Boyer and his wife Grace gave the single largest donation ($10,000,000) bestowed on the Yale School of Medicine by an individual. The Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine was named after the Boyer family in 1991.

Herbert Boyer Genentech Our Founders

At the Class of 2007 Commencement, St. Vincent College announced that they had renamed the School of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Computing the Herbert W. Boyer School.

Among his professional activities, Boyer is on the Board of Scientific Governors of the Scripps Research Institute.


  • 1980 the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
  • 1982 the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) Achievement Award
  • 1989 the National Medal of Technology
  • 1990 the National Medal of Science from President George H. W. Bush
  • 1993 Helmut Horten Research Award
  • 2000 Biotechnology Heritage Award with Robert A. Swanson
  • 2004 Albany Medical Center Prize (shared with Stanley N. Cohen)
  • 2004 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine
  • 2005 Winthrop-Sears Medal
  • 2007 Perkin Medal
  • 2009 CSHL Double Helix Medal Honoree
  • References

    Herbert Boyer Wikipedia