Michael W. Young

Michael W. Young
Michael W. Young D81 4345 (38162439194).jpg
Michael W. Young in Nobel Prize press conference in Stockholm, December 2017
BornMichael Warren Young
(1949-03-28) March 28, 1949 (age 69)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Texas, Austin (B.A., PhD[1])
Known forCircadian rhythms
AwardsNobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2017)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Texas, Austin
Stanford University School of Medicine
Rockefeller University
Doctoral advisorBurke Judd
Doctoral studentsLeslie B. Vosshall

Michael Warren Young (born March 28, 1949) is an American biologist and geneticist. He has dedicated over three decades to research studying genetically controlled patterns of sleep and wakefulness within Drosophila melanogaster.[2] During his time at Rockefeller University, his lab has made significant contributions in the field of chronobiology by identifying key genes associated with regulation of the internal clock responsible for circadian rhythms. He was able to elucidate the function of the period gene, which is necessary for the fly to exhibit normal sleep cycles. Young's lab is also attributed with the discovery of the timeless and doubletime genes, which makes proteins that are also necessary for circadian rhythm. He was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm".[3][4]


Early life

Michael W. Young was born in Miami, Florida, on March 28, 1949.[5] His father worked for Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation managing aluminum ingot sales for the south eastern United States. His mother worked for a law firm as a secretary. Despite no history of science or medicine in either of their backgrounds, Young’s parents were supportive of his interest in science and provided the means of scientific exploration through microscopes and telescopes. They lived in an environment close to private zoos, where occasionally some of the animals would escape into their backyard and spark Young's scientific interest.[6]

Michael Young grew up in and around Miami, Florida.[2] Then, his family moved near Dallas, Texas, where he graduated from L.D. Bell High School.[7] In his early teens, Michael’s parents gifted him one of Darwin’s books on evolution and biological mysteries. The book described biological clocks as the reason why a strange plant he had seen years earlier produced flowers that closed during the day and opened at night. The location and composition of these clocks were unknown, and this sparked Michael Young’s interest at an early age.[6]

Family life

While working as a graduate student at the University of Texas, Michael Young met his future wife Laurel Eckhardt. Later, both moved to Stanford University, where Michael worked as a postdoctoral fellow and Laurel pursued her PhD with Len Herzenberg. Today, she is a Professor of Biology at Hunter College. Michael and Laurel still work close to each other. Together, they have two daughters, Natalie and Arissa.[6]

Other Languages
العربية: مايكل يونغ
български: Майкъл Йънг
français: Michael W. Young
한국어: 마이클 W. 영
Bahasa Indonesia: Michael W. Young
Bahasa Melayu: Michael W. Young
Nederlands: Michael W. Young
Plattdüütsch: Michael Warren Young
Simple English: Michael W. Young
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Michael W. Young
українська: Майкл Янг
Tiếng Việt: Michael W. Young