Salvador E. Luria

Facts

Salvador E. Luria

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Salvador E. Luria
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1969

Born: 13 August 1912, Turin, Italy

Died: 6 February 1991, Lexington, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses”

Prize share: 1/3

Work

Bacteriophages are viruses that attach themselves to bacteria, emptying their genetic material into them, which leads to the rapid spawning of new phage inside the bacteria. By applying genetic concept and developing statistical approaches in their studies of bacteriophages, Max Delbrück, Salvador Luria, and Alfred Hershey were able to shed new light on a range of unanswered questions within genetics. For example, in 1943 Luria and Delbrück proved through statistical investigations that bacteria, like more complex organisms, develop via mutations.

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