Richard J. Roberts bigraphy, stories - British biochemist

Richard J. Roberts : biography

6 September 1943 -

Sir Richard "Rich" John Roberts (born 6 September 1943, Derby) is a British biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. He currently works at New England Biolabs.


After becoming a Nobel Laureate in 1993 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath in 1994.

In 2005, a multi-million pound expansion to the chemistry department at the University of Sheffield, where he had been a student, was named after him. A refurbished science department at Beechen Cliff School (previously City of Bath Boys' School) was also named after Roberts, who had donated a substantial sum of his Nobel prize winnings to the school.

Roberts was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto. He was knighted in the 2008 Birthday Honours.


When he was 4, Robert's family moved to Bath. In Bath, he attended City of Bath Boys' School. As a child he at first wanted to be a detective and then, when given a chemistry set, a chemist. He failed his Physics A-level exam on his first attempt. He graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a PhD in 1969. His thesis involved phytochemical studies of neoflavonoids and isoflavonoids.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine