Dr. Horvitz became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at M.I.T. in 1978 and Professor in 1986. He was appointed an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1988.
Horvitz received S.B. degrees in Mathematics and in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 1968. He performed his graduate studies at Harvard University in the laboratories of Drs. James Watson and Walter Gilbert and received his Ph.D. in 1974 for his biochemical and genetic analyses of modifications of the E. coli RNA polymerase induced by bacteriophage T4. Dr Horvitz then joined Dr Sydney Brenner at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and there began his studies of the development and behavior of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Dr Horvitz has served on many editorial boards, visiting committees and advisory committees, including as a member of the Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute (N.I.H.). Dr Horvitz was President of the Genetics Society of America in 1995.
He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments, including the Spencer Award in Neurobiology from Columbia University (1986); the Warren Triennial Prize from the Massachusetts General Hospital (1986); the U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1988); the Hans Sigrist Award from the University of Bern, Switzerland (1994); the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health (1995); the Rosenstiel Award from Brandeis University (1998); the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize (1998); the Gairdner Foundation International Award (Toronto, Canada, 1999); the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (Frankfurt, Germany, 2000); the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (2000); the Charles-Leopold Mayer Prize (French Academy of Sciences) (2000); the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry (Columbia Univ.) (2000); the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience (2001); the Genetics Society of America Medal (2001); The Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences (2002); and the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor (2002).
Dr Horvitz was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1991, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 1997.