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On Thursday, November 29, 2012 the Biology Department hosted a luncheon in recognition of Repligen Corporation’s generous gift for the creation of the Alexander Rich Scholarship. Professor Tania A. Baker welcomed Dr. and Mrs. Rich and members of the extended Rich family, as well as Walter C. Herlihy Jr., President and CEO of Repligen, who received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT in 1979. Also in attendance was the first recipient of the Rich Scholarship, biology major Meghan O’Dell, class of 2015.
The Alexander Rich Scholarship was established to honor Alexander Rich, M.D., for his significant contributions to the field of life sciences, both in his business and academic endeavors. Rich is a co-founder of Repligen and a former chairperson of the company's board of directors. He is now chairperson emeritus and an emeritus member of Repligen's science and technology committee. He is internationally recognized for his role in elucidating the molecular biology of nucleic acids, including the three-dimensional structure of transfer RNA (tRNA), and for his discovery of a novel, left-handed form of DNA (Z-DNA). Rich has been on the faculty of MIT since 1958 and is the Sedgwick Professor of Biophysics.