A pioneer in yeast genetics whose work paved the way for modern molecular biology as well as antibiotic and vaccine development has been honored for his life's work.
Gerald R. Fink, 70, a professor of genetics at MIT and a founding member and former director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has won the 2010 Genetics Prize of The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, the philanthropic organization announced today.
Fink is known for developing a genetic method called yeast transformation in 1977. He devised a way to introduce genetic material from other organisms into living yeast cells so it could be studied.
"Once we figured that out, everything changed,” Fink said in a statement from the Gruber Foundation. “Now, when you wanted to study a gene, you could just do it. You could manipulate the genetics of an organism at will, which made it much easier to figure things
out about gene structure."
Fink will receive the $500,000 prize on November 4 during the annual meeting of the American Society for Human Genetics in Washington, D.C.
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