Marvin H. Caruthers
Born (1940-02-11) February 11, 1940 (age 84)
Alma materIowa State University, Northwestern University
Known forDNA Synthesis
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Colorado Boulder
Thesis The Synthesis of Oligothymidylate Derivatives on Insoluble Polymer Supports  (1968)
Doctoral advisorRobert L. Letsinger
Other academic advisorsHar Gobind Khorana, George Rathmann

Marvin H. Caruthers (born February 11, 1940) is an American biochemist who is a distinguished professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Caruthers earned a B.S in chemistry at the Iowa State University in 1962 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry 1968 at Northwestern University with Robert Letsinger. He did his postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Har Gobind Khorana. From 1973 he was assistant professor and in 1980 professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

His research is on nucleic acids. He and his research group developed methods for the phosphoramidite synthesis of DNA.[1] Using this technique, his group was able to incorporate nucleotide analogs for functional group mutagenesis for a deeper understanding of nucleic acid biochemistry.[2][3] In addition to DNA, he developed methods of RNA synthesis and also for DNA analogues and the applications of the resulting molecules. He was a co-founder of Amgen and Applied Biosystems with Leroy Hood.[4][5]

In 1994 Caruthers was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences[6] and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.[7] He received the National Medal of Science (2006), the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society (2005) and the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2014). In 1980 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.[8]


  1. ^ Caruthers, M. (October 18, 1985). "Gene synthesis machines: DNA chemistry and its uses". Science. 230 (4723): 281–285. Bibcode:1985Sci...230..281C. doi:10.1126/science.3863253. PMID 3863253.
  2. ^ Caruthers, M. H. (December 6, 2012). "The Chemical Synthesis of DNA/RNA: Our Gift to Science". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288 (2): 1420–1427. doi:10.1074/jbc.X112.442855. PMC 3543024. PMID 23223445.
  3. ^ Goeddel, DV; Yansura, DG; Caruthers, MH (August 1978). "How lac repressor recognizes lac operator". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 75 (8): 3578–82. Bibcode:1978PNAS...75.3578G. doi:10.1073/pnas.75.8.3578. PMC 392828. PMID 278973.
  4. ^ "Marvin H. Caruthers Ph.D." Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Ellis, Caron Schwartz (October 17, 2003). "Marvin Caruthers' forte: Converting lab research into commercial ventures - BizWest". BizWest. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Marvin H. Caruthers". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter C" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "NSTMF". NSTMF.