Throughout the 1970s, Dr. Alberts investigated DNA synthesis and made fundamental discoveries about the machinery that cells use to carry out physiological processes.
In 1983, he and several coauthors published a groundbreaking textbook, "Molecular Biology of the Cell," which is in its sixth edition and has been translated into 11 languages. The team took an unconventional approach to textbook writing by having experts and novices in different specialties work together to produce chapters.
Dr. Alberts has long championed science education that trains students to use evidence and logic, and that teaches them how to work through issues with more than one right answer, as opposed to memorizing facts for a test.
"The fundamental purpose of science education is not to produce more scientists - that’s one function — but to foster scientific thinking skills and values in everyone,"he said.