Herbert W. Boyer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Recombinant DNA technology—Biochemists Boyer and Cohen combined their expertise in 1973 to create the first genetically engineered organism. They did this by splicing together DNA fragments from several different species of an organism, mixing the traits of each to create a previously unknown variation. Their accomplishment is the basis for modern biotechnology. In 1978 Boyer and Cohen's company, Gerentech, was successful in synthesizing human insulin. (2001)