Teaching several courses in theoretical physics and working with graduate students on problems in theory, Gilbert is appointed as assistant professor of physics.
For their input in the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids Walter Gilbert, Frederick Sanger and Paul Berg receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Finding a chemical way to break nucleic acid molecules at certain points was a pathbreaking discovery by Gilbert in the 1970s.
Walter Gilbert moves to the Biophysics Department as an Assistant Professor and becomes a full professor in biochemistry in 1968.
Walter Gilbert discovers that "a single messenger molecule can service many ribosomes at once and that the growing polypeptide chain always remains attachted to a transfer RNA molecule.". This discovery illuminates the mechanism of protein synthesis.
Walter Gilbert was born in Boston, Massachusetts, as the first of two children to his parents Emma Cohen and Richard V. Gilbert, who works at Harvard University.
Walter Gilbert earns his master's degree in Physics in 1954.
Walter Gilbert returns to Harvard University in 1985. He is appointed Institute Director at the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology in 1987 and retires in 2001.
Working on dispersion relations for elementary particle scattering, Gilbert receives his doctorate degree in physics under the mentorship of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam .
Walter Gilbert collaborates with Benno Müller-Hillstarts on a study on Escherichia coli. They isolate the lactose repressor, which following Gilbert is "the first example of a genetic control element".
Walter Gilbert becomes research assistant to physicist and Nobel laureat Julian S. Schwinger.
Walter Gilbert is appointed American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology. He co-founds the companies Biogen and Myriad Genetics. He leaves Harvard University to serve as the CEO of Biogen from 1981 to 1985.
Initially, Walter Gilbert is home-schooled. Later he attends public schools and finally graduates from Sidwell Friends School.
Right after high school, Walter Gilbert enters Harvard University and earns a baccalaureate degree with a major in chemistry and physics.
Three years after receiving the Nobel Prize, William Gilbert participates in the 33th Lindau Meeting.
Together with Jim Watson, Walter Gilbert starts research on the identification of messenger RNA. Within the next years his interest shifts from theoretical to experimental physics.
Returning to Harvard University William Gilbert marries Celia Stone, a poet, whom he had met in high school. They have two children, Kate and John Richard.
During the 1960s Walter Gilbert focuses on molecular biology, specifically on the synthesis of proteins.