Born: 17 June 1920, Nancy, France
Died: 19 April 2013, Paris, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis"
Field: genetics, molecular biology
Prize share: 1/3
The biochemical processes that take place within an organism's cells are controlled by the genes found inside DNA molecules. François Jacob and Jacques Monod proved how the genetic information is converted during the formation of proteins by means of a messenger, which proved to the substance we now know as RNA. Different cells work in different ways at different times, however. This too is regulated by genes. In the early 1960s François Jacob and Jacques Monod mapped the intricate processes that determine how genes are expressed or suppressed in a self-regulating process.
"for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events"
"for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid"
"for their discovery of RNA interference - gene silencing by double-stranded RNA"