Thomas A Steitz PhD

Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Departments & Organizations

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

Office of Student ResearchInfectious DiseasesTuberculosisStructural BiologyCenter for RNA Science and Medicine, YaleMolecular Biophysics and Biochemistry: Cell Cycle and Transcriptional Regulation; DNA Replication and Repair; RNA Biology; Structural Biology; Thomas Steitz Lab


Prof. Thomas Steitz received a B.A. degree in chemistry from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from Harvard, with William Lipscomb. After a postdoctoral year at Harvard, he moved to the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, to work as a Jane Coffin Childs fellow with David Blow. He next joined the Yale faculty, where he has remained, except for sabbatical work with Klaus Weber in Göttingen, Germany; Aaron Klug at Cambridge; John Abelson at the California Institute of Technology; and Thomas Cech and Olke Uhlenbeck at the University of Colorado. He has received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Pfizer Prize from the American Chemical Society, the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for distinguished work in basic medical sciences, the 2001 Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Lawrence University Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award, the 2006 Keio Medical Science Prize, and the 2007 Gairdner International Award. Dr. Steitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


  • BA, Lawrence College , 1962
  • Ph.D., Harvard University , 1966

Selected Publication

  • Bailey, S., Wing, R.A., and Steitz, T.A. (2006). The structure of T. aquaticus DNA polymerase III is distinct from eukaryotic replicative DNA polymerases. Cell 126:893-904.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry(2009) , The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
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