Alexander Rich, MD is a biologist and biophysicist. He is the William Thompson Sedgwick Professor of Biophysics at MIT and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rich earned both an A.B. and an M.D. from Harvard University. He was a post-doc of Linus Pauling along with James Watson. He has over 600 publications to his name.
Rich is married to Jane Erving Rich and they have four children: Benjamin E., Josiah D., Rebecca B., and Jessica J.
Rich is the founder of Alkermes and has been its director since 1987. Dr. Rich is Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Repligen Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Profectus BioSciences, Inc. He also serves on the editorial board of Genomics and the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics.
In 1963, Rich discovered polysomes: clusters of ribosomes which read one strand of mRNA simultaneously.
In 1979, Rich and co-workers at MIT grew a crystal of Z-DNA. This was the first crystal structure of any form of DNA. After 26 years of attempts, Rich et al. finally crystallised the junction box of B- and Z-DNA. Their results were published in an October 2005 Nature journal. Whenever Z-DNA forms, there must be two junction boxes that allow the flip back to the canonical B-form of DNA.