H. Robert Horvitz


H. Robert Horvitz

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

H. Robert Horvitz
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002

Born: 8 May 1947, Chicago, IL, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'”

Prize share: 1/3


At the beginning of an organism's life, the number of cells it contains increases rapidly. New cells are formed throughout its lifetime, but cells also die in order to maintain a balance in the number of cells in existence. This process is regulated by genes and is called programmed cell death. Through his studies of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, in 1986, Robert Horvitz identified two of the genes needed for programmed cell death to occur. He later showed that another gene protects against cell death, and also identified genes that regulate how dead cells are removed.

To cite this section
MLA style: H. Robert Horvitz – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sun. 14 Jul 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2002/horvitz/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.