Svante Pääbo

Svante Pääbo (born April 20, 1955) is a biologist specializing in evolutionary genetics. He was born in 1955 in Stockholm, Sweden and earned his PhD from Uppsala University in 1986. Since 1997, he has been director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. In 1992, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research.

Pääbo's department in August 2002 published findings about the "language gene", FOXP2, which is lacking or damaged in some individuals with language disabilities.

Pääbo is known as one of the founders of paleogenetics, a discipline that uses the methods of genetics to study early humans and other ancient populations. In 2006, he announced a plan to reconstruct the entire genome of Neanderthals. In 2007, Pääbo was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.


  • PÄÄBO, Svante International Who's Who. accessed September 1, 2006.
  • Current Biography Yearbook, 2007, H.W. Wilson.
  • Pääbo, Svante (2008). "Imagine: an interview with Svante Pääbo. Interview by Jane Gitschier". PLoS Genetics 4 (3): e1000035.

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