Nobel Laureate

Sidney Altman
Former Professor

Sidney Altman shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Thomas R. Cech for their discoveries, independent of each other, that RNA actively aids chemical reactions in cells. A former professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU, his research is concerned with the function and structure of ribonuclease P in both bacteria and human cells. His group investigates the properties of these enzymes and what they are doing in vivo. His group is also exploring the use of RNase P and so-called external guide sequences to activate various genes in bacteria and mammalian cells. This work has the potential to help address the ever-increasing resistance of micro-organisms to conventional antibiotics. Altman is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Sciences. He received his BS in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD in biophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Altman passed away in 2022.