James D. Watson

American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist
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James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist and zoologist.

James D. Watson
James D Watson.jpg
James D. Watson
Born (1928-04-06) April 6, 1928 (age 93)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago, Indiana University
Known forDNA structure, Molecular biology
AwardsNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1962); Copley Medal (1993)[1]
Scientific career
InstitutionsCold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Harvard University; University of Cambridge; National Institutes of Health

Watson is of English, Scottish and Irish ancestry.

He is best known as one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA with Francis Crick, in 1953.

Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material".[2]

He studied at the University of Chicago and Indiana University and later worked at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in England. He met Crick at the Cavendish and they became friends.

Watson has received 19 honorary doctorates.


Watson has published a number of books.

  • The double helix (autobiographical account of the work with Francis Crick) ISBN 0-393-95075-1
  • Genes, Girls, and Gamow: after the double helix (autobiography) ISBN 0-375-41283-2
  • Avoid boring people: lessons from a life in science (autobiography) ISBN 978-0-375-41284-4
  • The molecular biology of the gene ISBN 0-8053-4635-X
  • The molecular biology of the cell
  • Recombinant DNA


  1. James Watson to receive Othmer gold medal retrieved 29 September 2009
  2. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962. Nobel Prize Site for Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962.