Sir Richard Roberts FRS

Richard Roberts is a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist noted for his pioneering work on DNA sequencing and genetic engineering. His discovery of the alternative splicing of genes, in particular, has had a profound impact on the study and applications of molecular biology.

The realisation that individual genes could exist as separate, disconnected segments within longer strands of DNA first arose in the study of adenovirus, one of the viruses responsible for causing the common cold. Richard’s research in this field resulted in a fundamental shift in our understanding of genetics, and has led to the discovery of split genes in higher organisms, including human beings.

A recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Richard is a Fellow of numerous academic societies and is a highly sought-after scientific adviser. He was knighted in 2008 for his services to science and received the Sir Hans Krebs Medal in 2013 from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Professional position

  • Distinguished Scientist and Reserach Scholar, Boston University
  • Chief Scientific Officer, New England Biolabs
  • Distinguished Univesity Professor, Northeastern University

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology

    Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology, Molecular microbiology

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry, biological

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology

    General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)

  • Health and human sciences

    Medical microbiology


  • Gabor Medal

    For his internationally acclaimed contributions to the discovery of RNA splicing and his structural and genetic studies that have extended the range of sequence specificity of restriction and modification of enzymes.

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    Jointly with Phillip A. Sharp for their discoveries of split genes.

Sir Richard Roberts FRS
Elected 1995