Professor Robert Sinsheimer

MCDB colleagues and the Sinsheimer Family Celebrate the Life of Professor Robert Sinsheimer

Aug 23, 2017

Bob Sinsheimer (1920-2017) was one of the early pioneers of molecular biology, focusing on the small bacterial virus ΦX 174. He demonstrated that the ΦX genome in the viral particle was single stranded (publishing this work in the very first issue of Journal of Molecular Biology), that the phage genome was a circular molecule of DNA, that upon infection the replicative form of the DNA was double-stranded, and that in vitro-synthesized viral DNA was infectious. He led the Biology division at Cal Tech for many years, served as Chancellor of U.C. Santa Cruz where he helped foster the idea of sequencing the human genome, and was a valued colleague and friend here at MCDB for several decades. On July 15, 2017, MCDB and the Sinsheimer family hosted a celebration of Bob Sinsheimer's rich life, with talks by family and scientific associates, attended by numerous friends, colleagues, and former students and postdoctoral fellows. A video of the event and a biography of Bob Sinsheimer can be viewed at

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