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2002 Gruber Genetics Prize Citation

Robert Horvitz, Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been relentless in his use of genetic tools to reveal and dissect mechanisms of human development and behavior. In particular, he defined genetic pathways that are responsible for programmed cell death (apoptosis), a natural process that determines whether cells live or die. His discoveries have profound implications for both understanding and treating human diseases such as cancer and neural degeneration.