Michael Rosbash was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents, Hilde and Alfred Rosbash, were Jewish refugees who left Nazi Germany in 1938.His father was a cantor, which, in Judaism, is a person who leads the congregation in Prayer. Rosbash’s family moved to Boston when he was two years old, and he has been an avid Red Sox fan ever since.
Initially, Rosbash Was Interested in Mathematics But an Undergraduate Biology Course at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a summer of Working in Norman Davidson’s lab steered him towards biological research. Rosbash graduated from Caltech in 1965 with a Degree in Chemistry, spent a year at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris on the Fulbright Scholarship, And Obtained a Doctoral degree in biophysics in 1970 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Sheldon Penman. After spending three years on a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at the University of Edinburgh, Rosbash joined the Brandeis University faculty in 1974.
Rosbash’s research initially focused on the metabolism and processing of mRNA; mRNA is the molecular link between DNA and protein. After arriving at Brandeis, Rosbash collaborated with co-worker Jeffrey Hall and investigated the genetic influences on circadian rhythms of the internal biological clock. They used Drosophila Melanogaster to Study patterns of activity and rest.
Rosbash was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003. Along with Michael W. Young and Jeffrey C. Hall, he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm"