Biochemist William Rutter to receive UW honorary degree in May

William RutterBiochemist William Rutter is one of three recipients to be presented with an honorary degree from UW-Madison at the 5:30 p.m. commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13 at the Kohl Center.

Rutter was nominated by the Department of Biochemistry. He held a postdoctoral appointment with noted scientist Henry Lardy at UW–Madison’s Institute for Enzyme Research early in his career. A pioneering biochemist, Rutter helped lay the foundation for the emerging field of biotechnology. Research breakthroughs under his leadership include the first cloning of genes for insulin and growth hormone, at the University of California, San Francisco, and a recombinant DNA vaccine for hepatitis B and decoded genomes for HIV and hepatitis C viri, at the Chiron Corp.

“Bill Rutter, a founder of the field of biotechnology, has made seminal contributions in both academia and industry,” writes nominator Ronald T. Raines, the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Biology and Professor of Chemistry at UW–Madison. “Our campus played an important role at the inception of his career; in turn, the biotechnology industry has had an enormous impact on both our campus and the city of Madison. The faculty of the Department of Biochemistry voted unanimously, and with great enthusiasm, to endorse this nomination.”

Honorary degrees from UW–Madison recognize individuals with careers of extraordinary accomplishment. The Committee on Honorary Degrees looks to sustained and characteristic activity as its warrant: uncommonly meritorious activity exhibiting values that are esteemed by a great university.

The full press release is available on the University Communications website.