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Gerald Francis "Jerry" Joyce (born 1956) is a professor and researcher at Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. He is best known for his work on in vitro evolution, for the discovery of the first DNA enzyme (deoxyribozyme), for the development of the first self replicating RNA enzyme [1][2] and more in general for his work on the origin of life.

Gerald Joyce
Gerald Joyce speaking at 2010 AAAS meetings
Gerald Joyce, 2010
Born1956 (age 62–63)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
University of California, San Diego
Known forin vitro evolution
Scientific career
InstitutionsSalk Institute for Biological Studies
The Scripps Research Institute

Joyce received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago in 1978, completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego in 1984. He was a postdoctoral fellow and senior research associate at the Salk Institute from 1985 to 1989, and joined Scripps in 1989. Joyce was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2001, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011) and to the Institute of Medicine (2014). He has been a professor at The Scripps Research Institute until 2016 and served as Dean of the Faculty at Scripps from 2006 to 2011,[3] during which time he was instrumental in founding a second campus in Jupiter, Florida.[4] Joyce has served as the chair of the JASON advisory group, which he joined in 1996.[5]

Joyce received the Urey medal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL) in 2005.[6] In 2009, Joyce's lab was the first to produce a self-replicating in vitro system, capable of exponential growth and continuing evolution, composed entirely of RNA enzymes.



  1. ^ Lincoln, T. A.; Joyce, G. F. (2009). "Self-Sustained Replication of an RNA Enzyme". Science. 323 (5918): 1229–1232. doi:10.1126/science.1167856. PMC 2652413. PMID 19131595.
  2. ^ Wilson da Silva, "Life-like evolution in a test tube", Cosmos Magazine Online
  3. ^ "Joyce, Gerald" in VIVO
  4. ^ "Welcome to Jupiter, Scripps Florida"pamphlet
  5. ^ "Gerald Joyce". Archived from the original on 2015-03-26.
  6. ^ "ISSOL Medals and Honors"

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