Herbert Boyer & Stanley N. Cohen


Cohen 1935-
Boyer 1936-

United States

Year of great discovery/work

Although these two biochemists were not working in the same lab, they met at a scientific meeting and realized that their work was complementary allowing them to develop a technique that led to the field of genetic engineering. Cohen studied bacterial resistance to antibiotics and Boyer studied restriction enzymes. They realized by using the enzyme to cut DNA and insert a gene of interest, when the cell would reproduce its own DNA during cell replication, it would also produce the proteins encoded by the inserted DNA. In this way, the cell could serve as a factory for producing the protein of interest.

Did you know?
Boyer and Cohen were both at a biology conference in Hawaii when they decided to work together.