Robert A. Weisberg was a Scientist Emeritus at NCI until the time of his death on 1 September 2011. Previously he was Chief of Microbial Genetics at NICHHD, a position he retired from in 2008. He was a pioneer in the study of the bacteriophage lambda. His research lead to seminal contributions about how bacteriophage lambda integrates into the E. coli chromosome. His laboratory produced the first library of cloned genes, using lambda transducing phages. Weisberg’s work was a combination of biochemical and genetic approaches, and he was an expert in both disciplines.
My colleague Max Gottesman was a good friend of Weisberg and writes:
Bob was a wonderful colleague; he shared freely his innovative ideas with others, had no issues with authorship, and welcomed the success of others – in short, a model citizen/scientist. He leaves behind a substantial scientific legacy that taken together established lambda as a model system for the study of recombination and gene control and an important tool for bacterial genetics. And those who knew him personally feel that he enriched their lives, and that an era has ended with his passing.
Weisberg’s recent review, co-authored with Gottesman, Little lambda, who made thee?, is an excellent review of the virus and its contribution to the field of molecular biology.