• Harvard professor
• 1997 Lasker Award winner
• Discovered a protein used to activate genes in bacteria
Mark Ptashne received his PhD from Harvard in 1968 and stayed on campus, taking a job as a lecturer. He became full professor in 1971. Working with Nancy Hopkins at Harvard, he discovered a protein in bacteria that’s used to activate genes; later, he learned that the same mechanism works in higher organisms, including humans. This discovery earned him the Lasker Award.