Marvin H. Caruthers

Marvin H. Caruthers
Born (1940-02-11) February 11, 1940
Des Moines, Iowa
Nationality American
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions University of Colorado Boulder
Alma mater Iowa State University, Northwestern University
Thesis The Synthesis of Oligothymidylate Derivatives on Insoluble Polymer Supports (1968)
Doctoral advisor Robert L. Letsinger
Other academic advisors Har Gobind Khorana, George Rathmann
Known for DNA Synthesis

Marvin H. Caruthers (born 11 September 1940) is an American biochemist who is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Caruthers earned a B.S in chemistry at the Iowa State University in 1962 and a Ph.D in Biochemistry 1968 at Northwestern University with Robert Letsinger. He did his postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Har Gobind Khorana. From 1973 he was Assistant Professor and in 1980 Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He is concerned with nucleic acids and developed with his laboratory world used methods of phosphoramidite synthesis of DNA.[1] Using this technique, his group was able to incorporate nucleotide analogs for functional group mutagenesis for a deeper understanding of nucleic acid biochemistry.[2][3] In addition to DNA, he developed in his lab and methods of RNA synthesis and DNA analogues and explores their application. He was a co-founder of Amgen and Applied Biosystems with Leroy Hood.[4][5]

In 1994 Caruthers was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences[6] and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.[7] He received the National Medal of Science (2006), the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society (2005) and the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2014). 1980/81 he was Guggenheim Fellow.[8]


  1. Caruthers, M. (18 October 1985). "Gene synthesis machines: DNA chemistry and its uses". Science. 230 (4723): 281–285. doi:10.1126/science.3863253.
  2. Caruthers, M. H. (6 December 2012). "The Chemical Synthesis of DNA/RNA: Our Gift to Science". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288 (2): 1420–1427. doi:10.1074/jbc.X112.442855.
  3. Goeddel, DV; Yansura, DG; Caruthers, MH (August 1978). "How lac repressor recognizes lac operator.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 75 (8): 3578–82. PMID 278973.
  4. "Marvin H. Caruthers Ph.D.". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  5. Ellis, Caron Schwartz (17 October 2003). "Marvin Caruthers' forte: Converting lab research into commercial ventures - BizWest". BizWest. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. "Marvin H. Caruthers". National Academy of Science. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  7. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter C" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  8. "NSTMF". NSTMF.

External links

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