Salvador Edward Luria was born on August 13th, 1912, in Torino, Italy. He has been a naturalized citizen of the U.S.A. since January 1947.
In 1929 he started his studies in Medicine at the University of Torino, where he obtained his M. D. summa cum laude in 1935. From 1938 to 1940 he was Research Fellow at the Institute of Radium in Paris; 1940-1942, Research Assistant in Surgical Bacteriology at Columbia University; from 1943 to 1950 he was Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor of Bacteriology at Indiana University; in 1950 he was appointed Professor of Microbiology at the University of Illinois; from 1959-1964 he has been Professor of Microbiology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; in 1964 he became Sedgwick Professor of Biology at the M. I. T. and in 1965, non-resident Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 1970 Luria was appointed Institute Professor at the Department of Biology of the M.I.T.
Professor Luria was honoured with the following awards: 1935, Lepetit Prize; 1965, Lenghi Prize, Accademia dei Lincei; 1969, Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, Columbia University.
He was Guggenheim Fellow, 1942-1943 at Vanderbilt and Princeton; during the year 1963-1964 he worked again in Paris, this time at the Institut Pasteur. He is, or has been, Editor or Member of the Editorial Board of the following journals: Journal of Bacteriology, Virology, Experimental Cell Research, Journal of Molecular Biology, Photochemistry and Photobiology, American Naturalist, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Annual Review of Genetics.
Professor Luria is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology (President, 1967-1968), American Society of Biological Chemists, Society for General Microbiology, Genetics Society, American Naturalists, Society for the Study of Development and Growth, A.A.A.S., Sigma Xi, A.A.U.P.
Salvador Edward Luria was, in 1945, married to Zella Hurwitz, they have one son, Daniel, who is studying economics. His wife, Zella Hurwitz Luria, Ph. D., is a Professor of Psychology at Tufts University.
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.
For more updated biographical information, see:
Luria, Salvador Edward, A Slot Machine, a Broken Test Tube: an Autobiography. Harper & Row, New York, 1984.
Salvador E. Luria died on February 6, 1991.