Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In that role he oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008. Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.
Ephraim Katzir (1916 - 2009) was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and served as the 4th President of Israel from 1973 to 1978. In 1925, his family immigrated to Palestine and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he eventually completed a Ph.D. in biophysics. He was an assistant in the Hebrew University’s department for theoretical and macromolecular chemistry from 1941 to 1945. In 1949, he was appointed acting head and then head of the department of biophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. In 1951, he spent a sabbatical year at Harvard Medical School. From 1966 to 1968 Katzir was chief scientist of the Israel Defense Ministry.
André Michel Lwoff (1902 - 1994) was a French microbiologist who joined the Institut Pasteur in Paris when he was just 19 years old. In 1932, he finished his Ph.D. and, with the help of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, moved to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, in the lab of Otto Meyerhof. Here he did research on the development of flagellates. Another Rockefeller grant allowed him go to the University of Cambridge in 1937. In 1938, he was appointed departmental head of the Institut Pasteur, where he did groundbreaking research on bacteriophages and on the poliovirus.
George Wells Beadle (October 22, 1903 – June 9, 1989) was an American scientist in the field of genetics, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Nobel laureate who with Edward Lawrie Tatum discovered the role of genes in regulating biochemical events within cells.