Paul Berg

About Paul Berg

Who is it?: Biochemist
Birth Day: June 30, 1926
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Alma mater: Pennsylvania State University (BS) Case Western Reserve University (PhD)
Known for: Recombinant DNA
Spouse(s): Mildred Levy (m. 1947)
Children: one
Awards: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1980) AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility (1982) National Medal of Science (1983)
Fields: Biochemistry
Institutions: Stanford University Washington University in St. Louis Clare Hall, Cambridge University

Paul Berg

Paul Berg was born on June 30, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, United States, is Biochemist. Paul Berg is an American biochemist who won a share of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980. His development of a technique for splicing together deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from different types of organisms was one of the biggest contributions to the field of genetics in the 20th century. The son of a clothing manufacturer in New York, he developed an interest in science during his school days. An avid reader, he was deeply influenced by the books ‘Arrowsmith’ by Sinclair Lewis and ‘Microbe Hunters’ by Paul DeKruif which in part influenced him to become a scientist. The unwavering support of one his teachers also helped him to recognize his calling in the scientific field. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Penn State University and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University following which he began his academic career. He worked as a professor at Washington University School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine where he spent several years of his career. He also served as the director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine. He continues to be active in research even after his retirement from his administrative and teaching posts in 2000.
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Does Paul Berg Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Paul Berg is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 Paul Berg - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, Paul Berg is 97 years, 10 months and 19 days old. Paul Berg will celebrate 98rd birthday on a Sunday 30th of June 2024. Below we countdown to Paul Berg upcoming birthday.

Popular As Paul Berg
Occupation Scientists
Age 97 years old
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Born June 30, 1926 (Brooklyn, New York, United States)
Birthday June 30
Town/City Brooklyn, New York, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Paul Berg’s zodiac sign is Cancer. According to astrologers, the sign of Cancer belongs to the element of Water, just like Scorpio and Pisces. Guided by emotion and their heart, they could have a hard time blending into the world around them. Being ruled by the Moon, phases of the lunar cycle deepen their internal mysteries and create fleeting emotional patterns that are beyond their control. As children, they don't have enough coping and defensive mechanisms for the outer world, and have to be approached with care and understanding, for that is what they give in return.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Paul Berg was born in the Year of the Tiger. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.

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Berg was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Sarah Brodsky, a homemaker, and Harry Berg, a clothing manufacturer. Berg graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1943, received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Penn State University in 1948 and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1952. He is a member of the Beta Sigma Rho fraternity (now Beta Sigma Beta).


After completing his graduate studies, Berg spent two years (1952–1954) as a postdoctoral fellow with the American Cancer Society, working at the Institute of Cytophysiology in Copenhagen, Denmark and the Washington University School of Medicine, and spent additional time in 1954 as a Scholar in Cancer Research with the Department of Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. He worked with Arthur Kornberg, while at Washington University. Berg was also tenured as a research fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge. He was a professor at Washington University School of Medicine from 1955 until 1959. After 1959, Berg moved to Stanford University, where he taught biochemistry from 1959 until 2000 and served as Director of the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine from 1985 until 2000. In 2000 he retired from his administrative and teaching posts, continuing to be active in research.


He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966. In 1983, Ronald Reagan presented Berg with the National Medal of Science. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1992. In 2005 he was awarded the Biotechnology Heritage Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. In 2006 he received Wonderfest's Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.


Berg is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists [1]. He was also an organizer of the Asilomar conference on recombinant DNA in 1975. The previous year, Berg and other Scientists had called for a voluntary moratorium on certain recombinant DNA research until they could evaluate the risks. That influential conference did evaluate the potential hazards and set guidelines for biotechnology research. It can be seen as an early application of the precautionary principle.


Berg was awarded one-half of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with the other half being shared by Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger. Berg was recognized for "his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant DNA", while Sanger and Gilbert were honored for "their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids."


Berg is currently a Professor Emeritus at Stanford. As of 2000, he stopped doing active research, to focus on other interests, including involvement in public policy for biomedical issues involving recombinant DNA and embryonic stem cells and publishing a book about Geneticist George Beadle.

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