In 1963, Rich discovered polysomes: clusters of ribosomes which read one strand of mRNA simultaneously.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Rich was the founder of Alkermes and was a Director beginning in 1987. Dr. Rich was Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Repligen Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Profectus BioSciences, Inc. He also served on the editorial board of Genomics and the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics.
In 1979, Rich and co-workers at MIT grew a crystal of Z-DNA. This was the first crystal structure of any form of DNA. After 26 years of attempts, Rich et al. finally crystallised the junction box of B- and Z-DNA. Their results were published in an October 2005 Nature journal. Whenever Z-DNA forms, there must be two junction boxes that allow the flip back to the canonical B-form of DNA. Rich died on April 27, 2015, aged 90.