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Gerald Joyce

Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology and Proteomics
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Gerald F. Joyce is a Professor at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He also is Institute Director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in La Jolla. Dr. Joyce received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1978 and both an MD and PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 1984. He carried out postgraduate medical training at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and postdoctoral research training at The Salk Institute before joining the faculty of The Scripps Research Institute in 1989. In 2017 he moved his laboratory to the Salk Institute, where it is part of the Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology and Proteomics.

Dr. Joyce’s research involves the test-tube evolution of functional nucleic acid molecules and their potential application in clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. He has a longstanding interest in the origins of life and the role of RNA in the early history of life on Earth. His research has led to the development of the first self-replicating RNA enzyme, which is capable of exponential growth and evolution. It also has led to the development of an RNA enzyme that catalyzes the polymerization and exponential amplification of other RNA molecules.

Dr. Joyce is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Hans Sigrist Prize from the University of Bern, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Award for Early Earth and Life Sciences.


Gerald Joyce