Renato Dulbecco


Renato Dulbecco
Renato Dulbecco
Born February 22, 1914 (1914-02-22) (age 97)
Catanzaro
Nationality Italy, USA[1]
Fields Virologist
Institutions California Institute of Technology
Salk Institute
London Research Institute
Alma mater University of Turin
Known for Reverse transcriptase
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1975)
Selman A. Waksman Award (1974)

Renato Dulbecco (born February 22, 1914) is an Italian virologist who won a 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on reverse transcriptase. In 1973 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Theodore Puck and Harry Eagle. Dulbecco was the recipient of the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences in 1974.[2]

Contents

Early life

Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro (Southern Italy) to a Calabrese mother and a Ligurian father. He graduated from high school at 16, then moved to the University of Turin. Despite a strong interest for mathematics and physics, he decided to study medicine. At only 22, he graduated in morbid anatomy and pathology under the supervision of professor Giuseppe Levi. During these years he met Salvador Luria and Rita Levi-Montalcini, whose friendship and encouragement would later bring him to the United States. In 1936 he was called up for military service as a medical officer, and later (1938) discharged. In 1940 Italy entered World War II and Dulbecco was recalled and sent to the front in France and Russia, where he was wounded. After hospitalization and the collapse of Fascism, he joined the resistance against the German occupation.

Scientific career

After the war he resumed his work at Levi's laboratory, but soon he moved, together with Levi-Montalcini, to the USA, where, in Bloomington, Indiana, he worked with Salvador Luria on bacteriophages. In the summer of 1949 he moved to Caltech, joining Max Delbrück's group. There he started his studies about animal oncoviruses.[3] In the late 1950s, he took Howard Temin as a student, with whom, and together with David Baltimore, he would later share the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell." Temin and Baltimore arrived at the discovery of reverse transcriptase simultaneously and independently from each other; although Dulbecco did not take direct part in either of their experiments, he had taught the two methods they used to make the discovery.[4]

Throughout this time he also worked with Marguerite Vogt. In 1962, he moved to the Salk Institute and then in 1972 to The Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now named the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute). In 1986 he was among the scientists who launched the Human Genome Project.[5][6][7] In 1993 he moved back to Italy, where he is currently president of the Institute of Biomedical Technologies at C.N.R. (National Council of Research) in Milan. He also retains his position on the faculty of Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Nobel Prize Awarding

Dulbecco and his group demonstrated that the infection of normal cells with certain types of viruses (oncoviruses) led to the incorporation of virus-derived genes into the host-cell genome, and that this event lead to the transformation (the acquisition of a tumor phenotype) of those cells. As demonstrated by Temin and Baltimore, who shared the Nobel Prize with Dulbecco, the transfer of viral genes to the cell is mediated by an enzyme called reverse transcriptase (or, more precisely, RNA-dependent DNA polymerase), which replicates the viral genome (in this case made of RNA) into DNA, which is later incorporated in the host genome.

Oncoviruses are the cause of some forms of human cancers. Dulbecco's study gave a basis for precise understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which they propagate, thus allowing us to better fight them. Furthermore, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis mediated by oncoviruses closely resemble the process by which normal cells degenerate into cancer cells. Dulbecco's discoveries allowed us to better understand and fight cancer.

See also

  • History of RNA biology
  • List of RNA biologists

References

  1. ^ Dulbecco is a naturalized American citizen. See Dulbécco, Renato in www.treccani.it
  2. ^ "Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology". National Academy of Sciences. http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWARDS_waksman. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Dulbecco R., From the molecular biology of oncogenic DNA viruses to cancer, Science. 1976 Apr 30;192(4238):437-40.
  4. ^ Judson, Horace (2003-10-20). "No Nobel Prize for Whining". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9C02E4DE123EF933A15753C1A9659C8B63. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  5. ^ Dulbecco R., A turning point in cancer research: Sequencing the genome, Science, 1986, 231: 1055-56.
  6. ^ Lewin R., Proposal to sequence the human genome stirs debate., Science. 1986 Jun 27;232(4758):1598-600.
  7. ^ Noll H., Sequencing the human genome, Science. 1986 Jul 11;233(4760):143.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Renato Dulbecco — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Renato Dulbecco Renato Dulbecco Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Renato Dulbecco — (* 22. Februar 1914 in Catanzaro, Italien) ist ein italienisch US amerikanischer Biologe. Dulbecco arbeitet am Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Kalifornien. 1964 erhielt er den Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Renato Dulbecco — nació en Catanzaro, Italia en 1914. Estudió Medicina en la Universidad de Turín y desde 1940 fue profesor de Patología en esa misma universidad. A partir de 1947 se dedicó a la investigación en Bacteriología.Posteriormente se traslada a Estados… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1975: David Baltimore — Renato Dulbecco — Howard Martin Temin —   Die drei amerikanischen Wissenschaftler erhielten den Nobelpreis für »ihre Entdeckungen auf dem Gebiet der Wechselwirkungen zwischen Tumorviren und dem genetischen Material der Zelle«.    Biografien   David Baltimore, * New York 7. 3. 1938; ab… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dulbecco — Renato Dulbecco 1966 Renato Dulbecco (* 22. Februar 1914 in Catanzaro, Italien) ist ein italienisch US amerikanischer Biologe. Dulbecco arbeitet am Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Kalifornien. 1975 erhielt er zusammen mit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium — Dulbecco s Modified Eagle Medium, kurz DMEM, ist ein standardisiertes Nährmedium für die Zellkultur mit breiter Verwendbarkeit für verschiedene tierische Zellen. Es ist eine Variante von Eagle s Minimum Essential Medium (EMEM), enthält aber mehr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium — Dulbecco s Modified Eagle s Medium, kurz DMEM, ist ein standardisiertes Nährmedium für die Zellkultur mit breiter Verwendbarkeit für humane und verschiedene tierische Zellen. Es ist eine Variante von Eagle s Minimum Essential Medium (EMEM),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dulbecco — Renato …   Scientists

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