Watson, James Dewey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


James D. Watson (1928) is an American-born scientist. While at the University of Chicago, he became fascinated with genetics, in particular the problem of the structure of the gene. In 1953, while on a postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University, he and Francis HC Crick deduced the double-helix structure of DNA. Watson spent the rest of his career advancing DNA as the fundamental molecule of living systems, through research and teaching, pedagogical and popular writing, and administration. In 1968, he became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a weathered, storied, seaside biology lab on New Yorks Long Island where he had spent summers as a student. Watson rejuvenated the lab, making it into a center for cancer research, then general molecular biology. From 1988 to 1992, he directed the National Center for Human Genome Research, now the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. In 2007, he resigned from Cold Spring Harbor over controversy surrounding remarks about race, intelligence, and heredity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBrenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780080961569
ISBN (Print)9780123749840
StatePublished - Feb 27 2013


  • Bacteriophage
  • Biomedicine
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • DNA
  • Genetics
  • Genome
  • Harvard University
  • Nobel Prize
  • Twentieth century
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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