Mullis, Kary B.

Mullis, Kary B. (Banks)

(1944–  ) biochemist; born in Lenoir, N.C. A molecular biologist at Cetus Corporation of Emeryville, Calif. (1979–86), his discovery of how to multiply fragments of DNA while at Cetus (the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR) was the basis for the science fiction thriller Jurassic Park. From 1986–88 he was with Xytronyx Inc., San Diego, as director of molecular biology. In 1988 he began consulting to various labs in genetic engineering projects. He and Canadian Michael Smith were awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry for progress in genetic engineering technology; Mullis's contribution was inventing the technique that allows for detailed examination of minute amounts of DNA.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.