HURWITZ--Jerard. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) community mourns the loss of distinguished scientist Jerard Hurwitz. Dr. Hurwitz was a world-renowned molecular biologist whose work focused on the biosynthesis of DNA and RNA. He was one of the discoverers of RNA polymerase, the enzyme that transcribes DNA into messenger RNA. His pivotal studies of the enzymes that drive these processes led to a general understanding of how the genome is replicated in dividing cells. This work helped make possible advances in genetic engineering, including the ability to splice and copy DNA. Dr. Hurwitz came to MSK in 1984, as chair of the Sloan Kettering Institute's Molecular Biology Program. He went on to serve as SKI's Vice Chairman from 1991 to 2003. His research helped clarify how DNA is copied during cell growth and division, and shed light on the mechanisms that regulate the cell cycle. He mentored many junior scientists who have gone on to distinguished careers of their own. Dr. Hurwitz was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1968 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1974. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Eli Lilly Award in Biochemistry in 1962, a Guggenheim Fellowship Award in 1968, the Institut Pasteur Hazen Lectureship in 1972, and the New York Academy of Science's Louis and Bert Freeman Foundation Prize for Research in Biochemistry in 1982. He was a longtime American Cancer Society Research Professor. We extend our sincere condolences to Dr. Hurwitz's family and colleagues. Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO Joan Massague, Director, SKI Kenneth J. Marians, Member, SKI John Petrini, Chair, Molecular Biology Program, SKI Stewart Shuman, Member, SKI Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Published in New York Times on Jan. 26, 2019.