Sidney Altman

Sidney Altman's picture
Professor Emeritus of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
203 432 3500, 203 432 3506

Professor of Chemistry
Member of Yale faculty since 1971


Our lab is concerned with the function and structure of ribonuclease P in both bacteria and human cells. We investigate the properties of these enzymes and what they are doing in vivo. We are also exploring the use of RNase P and so-called external guide sequences to activate various genes in bacteria and mammalian cells.


B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960
Ph.D. University of Colorado, 1967
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 1967-69
Visiting Research Fellow, MRC Laboratory, Cambridge, England, 1969-71


Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1989
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, 1990
Honorary Degrees: Université de Montréal 1990, York University (Toronto) 1990, Connecticut College 1990, McGill University 1991, University of Colorado 1991, University of British Columbia 1991, Dartmouth College 1996

Recent Publications

D.A. Pomeranz Krummel & S. Altman. Verification of phylogenetic predictions in vivo and the importance of the tetraloop motif in a catalytic RNA. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 1999, 96, 11200-11205.

V. Gopalan, A. Vioque, & S. Altman. Varieties of RNase P: A nomenclature problem? RNA 2000, 6, 1689-1694.

T. Jiang & S. Altman. Protein-protein interactions with subunits of human nuclear RNase P. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 2001, 98, 920-925.

Y. Li & S. Altman. A subunit of human nuclear RNase P has ATPase activity.Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 2001, 98, 441-444.

R. Paul, D. Lazarev, & S. Altman. Characterization of RNase P from Thermotoga maritima. Nucl. Acids Res. 2001, 29, 880-885.

Research Interests