Howard Berg

Howard Curtis Berg (born 1934)[1] is the Herchel Smith Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, where he teaches biophysics and studies the motility of the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Howard Curtis Berg
Howard Berg 1986.png
Howard Berg as a young man
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology, Harvard University
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology,[1] Harvard University
Thesis (1964)
Doctoral advisorNorman Ramsey

Berg has been a member of the Harvard University Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology since 1986 and of the Harvard University Department of Physics since 1997. He is also a member of the Rowland Institute for Science at Harvard University.

Early life and educationEdit

Berg studied as an undergraduate at the California Institute of Technology and in 1964 earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard, with a dissertation on the hydrogen maser directed by Norman Ramsey.


While at Harvard, Berg was a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows. He later taught at the University of Colorado and Caltech.


With Edward Purcell, Berg received the Max Delbrück Prize in Biological Physics from the American Physical Society in 1984 for work on the physical limits of bacterial chemoreception.[2] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985.[1] He is author of the influential book Random Walks in Biology (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ, 1983) about the biological applications of diffusion.

Berg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.


  1. ^ a b c "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  2. ^ 1984 Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics Recipient: Howard Berg

External linksEdit