News and Events

Dr. Daniel E. Koshland ’37 to Receive the John Phillips Award

Dr. Daniel E. Koshland

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Exeter, NH (September 29, 2006)—On Tuesday, October 3, 2006, during morning assembly, Phillips Exeter Academy will honor Dr. Daniel E. Koshland (Phillips Exeter Class of 1937), a research scientist, educator, editor and one of the primary researchers on the Manhattan Project, with the John Phillips Award. This event is not open to the public.

A professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California–Berkeley since 1965, and the chair of biochemistry from 1973–78, Dr. Koshland has dedicated more than 40 years to scientific research and higher education. Although officially retired from UC–Berkeley, he remains active as a professor and researcher in the Graduate School Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is noted for his “induced fit theory,” the ability of enzymes to change shape as they react with other molecules, which holds a central role in contemporary drug design. Dr. Koshland’s research has also focused on how short-term memory is converted to long-term memory. His laboratory is also developing therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, and studying how to make enzyme modifications that could help environmental clean-up and waste disposal.

During the 1980s, Dr. Koshland led a reorganization of UC–Berkeley’s biology department, reconfiguring 17 biological disciplines into three consolidated departments with stellar research facilities. In 1991, he was named their “Alumnus of the Year,” an award for which he is most proud. 

Dr. Koshland was also editor-in-chief of Science magazine (1985–95), America’s foremost general science journal. His literary legacy includes more than 200 editorials penned with his trademark wit and humor, and he is credited with instituting new policies for having scientists write articles and a submissions process that improved the magazine.

Early in his career, Dr. Koshland was invited to join the research team of the Manhattan Project, which laid the groundwork for the development of the first nuclear bomb. For four years, he worked on secret war research.

For this and other accomplishments, Dr. Koshland has received more than 40 professional honors and memberships, including the American Society of Biological Chemists; the National Academy of Sciences; the National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science and the Welch Award in Chemistry. He has also received honorary degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Koshland also established the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C., in memory of his late wife. The museum, which opened in 2004, uses interactive exhibits to bring contemporary scientific issues to life.

The John Phillips Award recognizes and honors an Exeter graduate whose life and contributions to the welfare of community, country and humanity exemplify in high degree the nobility of character and usefulness to humanity that John Phillips sought to promote in establishing the Academy.

A complete list of upcoming events is available on the Phillips Exeter Academy public events line at (603) 777-4309 and on our website at For directions to Phillips Exeter Academy, call (603) 777-4330. To learn more about upcoming events at Exeter, check the News & Events section of the website.

Phillips Exeter Academy is a coeducational, independent preparatory school that was founded in 1781 and originated the system of instruction known as Harkness teaching in 1931. In the spirit of its charter to foster both goodness and knowledge, students come from a wide variety of geographic, economic, racial and religious backgrounds. The diverse student body comes from approximately 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 26 foreign countries.