Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. He is a respected biochemist recognized for his work in both biochemistry and molecular biology and is known particularly for his extensive molecular analyses of the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated.
Alberts joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1966 and after ten years moved to the medical school of the University of California, San Francisco. In 1980, he was awarded an American Cancer Society lifetime research professorship. In 1985, he was named chair of the UCSF department of biochemistry and biophysics.
Alberts is one of the principal authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, now in its third edition, considered the leading advanced textbook in this field and used widely in U.S. colleges and universities. His most recent text, Essential Cell Biology, is intended to present this subject matter to a wider audience. He is committed to the improvement of science education; he helped to create City Science, a program for improving science teaching in San Francisco elementary schools.