Advertisement

 Alfred Day Hershey

Advertisement

Alfred Day Hershey Famous memorial

Birth
Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan, USA
Death
22 May 1997 (aged 88)
Syosset, Nassau County, New York, USA
Burial
Laurel Hollow, Nassau County, New York, USA
Memorial ID
15659493 View Source

Nobel Prize Recipient. Alfred Day Hershey, an American bacteriologist and geneticist, received international recognition after being awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He shared this coveted award with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria. The Nobel Prize committee gave these men the award "for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses." First, Delbrück, the led in this research project, developed a one-step process for quickly breeding bacteriophages or viruses that infect bacteria. In collaboration with Luria, Delbrück proved that after a bacterium has been infected, it can undergo spontaneous mutations that give it immunity to the bacteriophage. Working separately, experiments conducted by Hershey and Delbrück showed that genetic material from different kinds of viruses can mingle and produce new types of viruses, thus pioneering researching genetics. This process was previously believed to be limited to higher, sexually reproducing forms of life. In 1945 these scientists started a course in bacteriophage genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He studied at the Michigan State College, where he obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1930, and a bacteriology Ph.D. in 1934. His doctoral dissertation examined the chemical makeup of "Brucella," the bacterium that causes an infection that spreads from animals to humans through eating raw dairy products. After graduation, he was engaged in teaching and research, at the Department of Bacteriology at Washington University School of Medicine from 1934 till 1950. During the late 1930s, he studied the growth of bacterial cultures, but his own experiments in the early 1940s focused on the phage-antiphage immunologic reaction and other factors that influenced phage infectivity. In late January of 1943, Delbrück invited him to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to discuss his phage experiments with him and his colleague Luria. By the mid-1940s, Hershey's research with bacteriophage began to shift away from immunology to genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. In 1950 he became a Staff Member, at the Department of Genetics, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and in 1962 he was appointed Director of the Genetics Research Unit of the same institution. In 1952 he and a colleague performed the famous experiment using an electric Waring blender on high speed that became known as the Hershey–Chase experiment. This experiment showed that DNA, not protein, was the genetic material of life. Taking this a step further, on February 28, 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. Many of his colleagues speak of "Al's" faith, and during his very short Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he gratefully said, "One reason for this must be that humans love truth and justice, and rejoice in ceremonies that honor those qualities. For that sentiment we should indeed thank God." Considered the "Nobel Prize of Genetics," the Kimber Genetics Award of the National Academy of Sciences was awarded to Delbrück in 1964, with Hershey receiving the award in 1965. In 1958 "for the role of nucleic acid in the reproduction of viruses and in the transmission of inherited characteristics," he co-shared the 1958 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award with German chemist, Gerhard Schramm and German-born American biochemist, Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat. He was honored with an honorary D.Sc. at the University of Chicago in 1967, and Michigan State University honored him with an M.D.h.c. in 1970. He was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2019 a State of Michigan Historical Marker was dedicated in front of his former home. He married and the couple had a son, Peter, who became a professional oboe player after earning a master's degree in music at Rice University in Texas, but died early at age 43. After a long, successful life, he died of cardiopulmonary failure.

Nobel Prize Recipient. Alfred Day Hershey, an American bacteriologist and geneticist, received international recognition after being awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He shared this coveted award with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria. The Nobel Prize committee gave these men the award "for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses." First, Delbrück, the led in this research project, developed a one-step process for quickly breeding bacteriophages or viruses that infect bacteria. In collaboration with Luria, Delbrück proved that after a bacterium has been infected, it can undergo spontaneous mutations that give it immunity to the bacteriophage. Working separately, experiments conducted by Hershey and Delbrück showed that genetic material from different kinds of viruses can mingle and produce new types of viruses, thus pioneering researching genetics. This process was previously believed to be limited to higher, sexually reproducing forms of life. In 1945 these scientists started a course in bacteriophage genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He studied at the Michigan State College, where he obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1930, and a bacteriology Ph.D. in 1934. His doctoral dissertation examined the chemical makeup of "Brucella," the bacterium that causes an infection that spreads from animals to humans through eating raw dairy products. After graduation, he was engaged in teaching and research, at the Department of Bacteriology at Washington University School of Medicine from 1934 till 1950. During the late 1930s, he studied the growth of bacterial cultures, but his own experiments in the early 1940s focused on the phage-antiphage immunologic reaction and other factors that influenced phage infectivity. In late January of 1943, Delbrück invited him to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to discuss his phage experiments with him and his colleague Luria. By the mid-1940s, Hershey's research with bacteriophage began to shift away from immunology to genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. In 1950 he became a Staff Member, at the Department of Genetics, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and in 1962 he was appointed Director of the Genetics Research Unit of the same institution. In 1952 he and a colleague performed the famous experiment using an electric Waring blender on high speed that became known as the Hershey–Chase experiment. This experiment showed that DNA, not protein, was the genetic material of life. Taking this a step further, on February 28, 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. Many of his colleagues speak of "Al's" faith, and during his very short Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he gratefully said, "One reason for this must be that humans love truth and justice, and rejoice in ceremonies that honor those qualities. For that sentiment we should indeed thank God." Considered the "Nobel Prize of Genetics," the Kimber Genetics Award of the National Academy of Sciences was awarded to Delbrück in 1964, with Hershey receiving the award in 1965. In 1958 "for the role of nucleic acid in the reproduction of viruses and in the transmission of inherited characteristics," he co-shared the 1958 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award with German chemist, Gerhard Schramm and German-born American biochemist, Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat. He was honored with an honorary D.Sc. at the University of Chicago in 1967, and Michigan State University honored him with an M.D.h.c. in 1970. He was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2019 a State of Michigan Historical Marker was dedicated in front of his former home. He married and the couple had a son, Peter, who became a professional oboe player after earning a master's degree in music at Rice University in Texas, but died early at age 43. After a long, successful life, he died of cardiopulmonary failure.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Inscription

NOBEL LAURIATE


Family Members

Spouse
Children

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Alfred Day Hershey?

Current rating:

36 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Paul1957
  • Added: 7 Sep 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 15659493
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/15659493/alfred-day-hershey: accessed ), memorial page for Alfred Day Hershey (4 Dec 1908–22 May 1997), Find a Grave Memorial ID 15659493, citing Memorial Cemetery of Saint John's Church, Laurel Hollow, Nassau County, New York, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.