Edward Lawrie Tatum


Edward Lawrie Tatum

Edward Lawrie Tatum

Born: 14 December 1909, Boulder, CO, USA

Died: 5 November 1975, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events."

Prize share: 1/4


Organisms' metabolism - the chemical processes within its cells - are regulated by substances called enzymes. Edward Tatum and George Beadle proved in 1941 that our genetic code, our genes, govern the formation of enzymes. They exposed a type of mold to x-rays, causing mutations, or changes in its genes. They later succeeded in proving that this led to definite changes in enzyme formation. The conclusion was that each enzyme corresponds to a particular gene.

To cite this section
MLA style: Edward Tatum – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Mon. 20 Aug 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1958/tatum/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.