MacArthur Fellows Program

Franklin W. Stahl

Geneticist | Class of 1985

Eugene, Oregon
56 at time of award
Published July 1, 1985

About Franklin's Work

Franklin Stahl is a geneticist whose research centers on genetic recombination and the growth of viruses.

Stahl’s early work was on the effects of radiation on the heredity of viruses.  He has helped to develop a technique for sorting macromolecules according to density.  Based on that technique, he was able to describe the mechanism of DNA replication.  He is concerned with the molecular mechanisms involved in recombination, the exchange of corresponding segments between homologous DNA molecules.  Stahl is the author of Genetic Recombination: Thinking about It in Phage and Fungi (1979), which has greatly facilitated the teaching of molecular biology.  He is also the editor of We Can Sleep Later: Alfred D. Hershey and the Origins of Molecular Biology (2000), a collection of essays by other well known molecular biologists on the life and work of an extremely private scientist.


Stahl is a Distinguished Professor emeritus of biology at the University of Oregon’s Institute of Molecular Biology.  His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as Genetics, Cell, and the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Stahl received an A.B. (1951) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (1956) from the University of Rochester.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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