Dr Renato Dulbecco

Dr Renato Dulbecco

Birth
Catanzaro, Provincia di Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy
Death 19 Feb 2012 (aged 97)
La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 85260716 · View Source
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Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine. A virologist, he was honored in 1975 for his discovery of oncogenic viruses by recognizing the link between viral genetic mutations and cancer. Raised in Southern Italy, he showed early scientific ability by constructing a radio so his mother could listen to opera, graduated from high school at 16, and earned his M.D. from the University of Turin in 1936. Immediately drafted into the Army he was eventually sent to the Russian front where he was greatly displeased to learn that the Jewish slave laborers were to be killed once their work was finished. After a shoulder injury got him returned to Italy he served with the Resistance in a small village near Turin then in 1947 accepted the offer of a faculty position at Indiana University. In 1949 he moved on to the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in Pasadena where one of his early contributions was discovery of a way to quantify the amount of polio virus in a cell culture, a necessary precursor to the manufacture of a polio vaccine. He became an American citizen in 1953 and while at Cal Tech began the work which demonstrated that viruses can insert their genetic material into cells thus triggering uninhibited multiplication, in other words, cancer. Dr. Dulbecco was joined by two of his students, Drs. David Baltimore and Howard Temin, who were to independently identify reverse transcriptase, the specific mechanism which mediates oncogenic mutation, and were to later share the Nobel Prize with him. Over the years he also performed important research into the breast cancer gene and into the human papilloma virus, the etiologic agent of cervical cancer; in 1962 he moved south to La Jolla's Salk Institute and in 1964 he received his first major honor when he was bestowed the Albert Lasker Award. In 1972 he relocated to the Imperial Cancer Fund in London and while there received Columbia University's 1973 Horwitz Prize, the 1974 Selmon A. Walksman Prize in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences, and the 1975 Nobel Prize. Dr. Dulbecco returned to the Salk Institute in 1977, starting the Human Genome Project in 1986 and serving as its president from 1988 thru 1992 when he returned to Italy to head Milan's National Council of Research. In later years he divided his time between Italy and Southern California, remaining active until his death from the effects of advanced age.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 20 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85260716
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Renato Dulbecco (22 Feb 1914–19 Feb 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85260716, ; Maintained by Bob Hufford (contributor 46784943) Unknown.