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Paul won the
Nobel Prize in
1980 for his
genetic work 
in the field 
of Chemistry.

Born in New York in 1926, Berg enrolled at Pennsylvania State University in 1943, served three years in the Navy during 1943-46 and eventually graduated from Penn State in 1948. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1952 from Case Western Reserve University and spent his post-doc years in Copenhagen, Denmark and Washington University in St. Louis. After six years on the Washington University faculty he moved to Stanford in 1959 along with six other colleagues to establish the first Biochemistry Department at Stanford. Berg served as Chair of the Biochemistry Department from 1969 until 1974, and was the Director of Stanford’s Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine from 1985 until his retirement in 2000. 

In addition to earning the Nobel Prize, a few of Berg's many other honors include the National Medal of Science (1983), California Scientist of the Year (1963), Lasker Award in Basic Science (1980), and the National Library of Medicine Medal (1986). He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and as a Foreign member of the British Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences. Berg has served on advisory boards of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, MIT, Harvard University, the Whitehead Institute and others. He chaired the Human Genome Projects National Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Berg has been married since 1947 to his wife Millie. They are the parents of one son, John Alexander, presently, a Director of Samyama Yoga Center in Palo Alto.