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March 21, 1932|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University, University of Cambridge|
|Doctoral advisor||Abdus Salam|
|Doctoral students||Gerald Guralnik|
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry|
Gilbert was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 21, 1932. Gilbert attended Harvard University for undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a first degree in chemistry and physics in 1953 and a master's degree in physics in 1954.
Gilbert returned to Harvard in 1957 and promoted in 1968 to professor of biochemistry. In 1969, Gilbert was given Harvard's Ledlie Prize. In 1972, Gilbert was named American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology.
Gilbert first proposed the existence of introns and exons and explained the evolution of introns in a seminal 1978 "News and Views" paper published in Nature. In 1986, Gilbert used the phrase RNA world hypothesis for the origin of life. 'RNA World' was a concept first proposed by Carl Woese in 1967.
Gilbert was given the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, shared with Frederick Sanger and Paul Berg. Gilbert and Sanger were recognized for their pioneering work in devising methods for determining the sequence of nucleotides in a nucleic acid.
- Shampo MA, Kyle RA (May 2003). "Walter Gilbert--1980 Nobel Prize for Chemistry". Mayo Clin. Proc. 78 (5): 588. . http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=12744546.
- Maxam A. & Gilbert W. 1977. A new method for sequencing DNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 74 (2): 560–564.  PMID 265521
- Church G. & Gilbert W. 1984. Genomic sequencing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 81 (7): 1991–1995.  PMID 6326095
- Gilbert, W. 1986. Origin of life: the RNA world. Nature 319 (6055): 618–618