Charles Yanofsky

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Charles Yanofsky
Born (1925-04-17) April 17, 1925 (age 97)
New York
Nationality United States
Fields Genetics
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater City College of New York
Yale University (Ph.D, 1951)
Notable awards National Medal of Science (2003)
Passano Award (1992)
Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal (1990)
Genetics Society of America Medal (1983)
Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (1976)
Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology (1972)
Albert Lasker Award (1971)
NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1964)

Charles Yanofsky (born April 17, 1925) is a leading American geneticist.

Born in New York, Yanofsky studied at the City College of New York and at Yale University.

In 1964, Yanofsky and colleagues established that gene sequences and protein sequences are colinear in bacteria.[1] This had previously been demonstrated in humans by studies of sickle cell anemia.[2] Yanofsky showed that changes in DNA sequence can produce changes in protein sequence at corresponding positions.[3] His work revealed how controlled alterations in RNA structure allow RNA to serve as a regulatory molecule in both bacterial and animal cells.

Yanofsky was awarded the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences in 1972[4] and was co-recipient of the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in 1976 with Seymour Benzer. Yanofsky was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society in 1985 and was one of the recipients of the 2003 National Medal of Science awards.

Charles Yanofsky is now the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology (Emeritus) at Stanford University.


  • Yanofsky, Charles (2007), "RNA-based regulation of genes of tryptophan synthesis and degradation, in bacteria", RNA (published Aug 2007), 13 (8), pp. 1141–54, doi:10.1261/rna.620507, PMC 1924887, PMID 17601995<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, Charles (2005), "The Favorable Features of Tryptophan Synthase for Proving Beadle and Tatum's One Gene–One Enzyme Hypothesis", Genetics (published Feb 2005), 169 (2), pp. 511–6, PMC 1449131, PMID 15731515<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, Charles (2004), "The different roles of tryptophan transfer RNA in regulating trp operon expression in E. coli versus B. subtilis", Trends Genet. (published Aug 2004), 20 (8), pp. 367–74, doi:10.1016/j.tig.2004.06.007, PMID 15262409<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C (2000), "Transcription Attenuation: Once Viewed as a Novel Regulatory Strategy", J. Bacteriol. (published Jan 2000), 182 (1), pp. 1–8, doi:10.1128/JB.182.1.1-8.2000, PMC 94232, PMID 10613855<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C; Konan, K V; Sarsero, J P (1996), "Some novel transcription attenuation mechanisms used by bacteria", Biochimie, 78 (11–12), pp. 1017–24, doi:10.1016/S0300-9084(97)86725-9, PMID 9150880<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C (1988), "Transcription attenuation", J. Biol. Chem. (published Jan 15, 1988), 263 (2), pp. 609–12, PMID 3275656<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C; Platt, T; Crawford, I P; Nichols, B P; Christie, GE; Horowitz, H; Vancleemput, M; Wu, AM (1981), "The complete nucleotide sequence of the tryptophan operon of Escherichia coli", Nucleic Acids Res. (published Dec 21, 1981), 9 (24), pp. 6647–68, doi:10.1093/nar/9.24.6647, PMC 327632, PMID 7038627<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C (1981), "Attenuation in the control of expression of bacterial operons", Nature (published Feb 26, 1981), 289 (5800), pp. 751–8, doi:10.1038/289751a0, PMID 7007895<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C (1971), "Tryptophan biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Genetic determination of the proteins involved", JAMA (published Nov 15, 1971), 218 (7), pp. 1026–35, doi:10.1001/jama.218.7.1026, PMID 4940311<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yanofsky, C (1967), "Gene structure and protein structure", Harvey Lect., 61, pp. 145–68, PMID 5338072<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Yanofsky, Charles; Carlton, B. C.; Guest, J. R.; Helinski, D. R.; Henning, U. (Dec 18, 1963). "ON THE COLINEARITY OF GENE STRUCTURE AND PROTEIN STRUCTURE". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 51 (2): 266–272. doi:10.1073/pnas.51.2.266. PMC 300060. PMID 14124325.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ingram, Vernon (May 1, 2004). "Sickle-Cell Anemia Hemoglobin: The Molecular Biology of the First "Molecular Disease"—The Crucial Importance of Serendipity". Genetics. Genetics Society of America. 167 (1): 1–7. doi:10.1534/genetics.167.1.1. PMC 1470873. PMID 15166132. Retrieved May 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Yanofsky, C.; Drapeau, G. R.; Guest, J. R.; Carlton, B. C. (1967). "THE COMPLETE AMINO ACID SEQUENCE OF THE TRYPTOPHAN SYNTHETASE a PROTEIN (alpha SUBUNIT) AND ITS COLINEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GENETIC MAP OF THE a GENE". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 57 (2): 296–298. doi:10.1073/pnas.57.2.296. PMC 335504. PMID 16591468.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 15 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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