Thursday, 10 November 2011

Para Peraih Nobel dari California Institue of Technology III

MAX DELBRÜCK (1906–1981)
Max Delbrück shared (with Alfred Hershey and Salvador Luria) the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on bacteriophages, a class of viruses that infect bacteria.

Originally trained as a theoretical physicist, Delbrück received his PhD from the University of Göttingen (Germany) in 1930. While doing postdoctoral research with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, he became interested in how the issues and methods of physics might apply to biology. In 1937, as a Rockefeller Foundation fellow, he came to Caltech because of its strength in Drosophila genetics. 

He soon teamed up with E. L. Ellis to do phage research, seeing the bacteriophage as the ideal organism through which to apply the quantitative methods of physics to the study of genes. In 1939, he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University, where he stayed for seven years. He returned to Caltech as a professor of biology in 1947, and remained for the rest of his career.

In the early 1950s, Delbrück’s research interests shifted yet again, from molecular genetics to sensory physiology.



Leo Rainwater was a corecipient (with A. N. Bohr and Ben Mottelson) of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1975. His research contributed to the determination that certain atoms have asymmetrical nuclei.

Rainwater received his bachelor’s degree from Caltech in 1939, then went on to earn a PhD at Columbia University in 1946. During World War II, he worked on the atomic bomb project.

In 1949, he began developing his theory that, contrary to what was then believed, not all atomic nuclei are spherical. His ideas were later tested and confirmed by Bohr’s and Mottelson’s experiments. 

Rainwater also contributed to the scientific understanding of x-rays and participated in Atomic Energy Commission and naval research projects. He joined the physics faculty at Columbia in 1952, where he was named Pupin Professor of Physics in 1982.

Caltech President David Baltimore shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with former faculty member Renato Dulbecco and alumnus Howard Temin (PhD ’60). 

The three were recognized for research that led to the identification of the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which allows a molecule of RNA from a cancer-causing virus to change into DNA (thus reversing the normal sequence of information flow) and then splice itself to the DNA of a host cell. This discovery greatly expanded scientific understanding of retroviruses—the most infamous of which is HIV.

Baltimore did his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College and earned his doctorate at Rockefeller University. He later worked as a research associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. He joined the MIT faculty in 1968, and was appointed a full professor in 1972. After founding the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in 1982, he served as its first director until 1990. 

Baltimore was president of Rockefeller University from 1990 to 1991. Before becoming Caltech’s president in 1997, he was the Ivan R. Cottrell Professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology and the American Cancer Society Research Professor at MIT. 

Baltimore has also been a major figure in Washington as head of the National Institutes of Health AIDS Vaccine Research Committee 


Renato Dulbecco shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and David Baltimore “for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.”

Dulbecco was born in Italy, where he graduated from the University of Torino, receiving his medical degree in 1936. In 1947 he joined his former fellow student Salvador Luria at Indiana University in Bloomington, and then moved on to Caltech in 1949.

At the Institute, he worked with Max Delbrück on phages before moving into the field of animal virology. Howard Temin was one of his graduate students, and their work started his interest in tumor viruses. In 1962, Dulbecco went to the Salk Institute, and in 1972 to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London.

Howard Temin shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Renato Dulbecco and David Baltimore for their joint discovery of the enzyme reverse transcriptase. Identification of this enzyme helped explain how certain viruses transform the cells they infect into cancer cells. 

While doing graduate work with Dulbecco at Caltech, Temin began investigating how the Rous sarcoma virus causes cancer in animals. During these investigations, he observed that the virus—whose essential component is RNA—could not infect a cell if the cell’s synthesis of DNA was stopped. 

After receiving his PhD in 1959, Temin spent another year working with Dulbecco, then joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he continued his research. In 1964, he proposed that the virus caused cancer by somehow changing its RNA into DNA, an idea that contradicted the contemporary belief that genetic information could only pass from DNA to RNA. 

In 1970, Temin’s hypothesis was validated by his and Baltimore’s identification of reverse transcriptase as the mechanism whereby RNA is changed into DNA. Temin continued to teach and pursue research at the University of Wisconsin for the rest of his career. 


William Lipscomb was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1976 for his studies on the structure of boranes (boron hydride compounds), work which also answered general questions about chemical bonding. 

Boranes became important in chemical research in the 1940s and ‘50s because of the need to find volatile uranium compounds (borohydrides) for isotope separation, as well as the need to develop high-energy fuels for rockets and jet aircraft. To map the molecular structures of boranes, Lipscomb also developed x-ray techniques that later found application in many other areas of chemical research.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1941, Lipscomb came to Caltech to pursue graduate study. He received his PhD in 1946, then joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota, where he eventually became head of the physical chemistry division. In 1959, he left Minnesota to become professor of chemistry at Harvard. He served as chair of Harvard’s chemistry department from 1962 to 1965. 


Robert Wilson shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics with Arno Penzias for finding the cosmic background radiation—new evidence of the Big Bang, the explosion of matter that scientists theorize created the universe.

Wilson attended Rice University as an undergraduate, then earned a PhD from Caltech in 1962. 

Starting in 1963, he worked at Bell Labs, where he and Penzias conducted experiments in connection with the first Telstar communication satellite. While tracking radio emissions from gases around the Milky Way, they detected excess radio noise that seemed to be coming from all directions at once. 

After comparing notes with scientists doing similar research at MIT and Princeton, they concluded that they had discovered a universal thermal radiation field with a temperature of about 3 kelvins—a remnant of the Big Bang. 

Wilson has since continued to study and measure various properties of interstellar molecules. In 1976, he became head of Bell Labs’ Radio Physics Department.


Roger Sperry was a corecipient (with David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel) of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research on the workings of the brain. Sperry was particularly recognized for discovering that each brain hemisphere controls different kinds of functions.

Sperry studied English literature as an undergraduate, then received a master’s degree in psychology from Oberlin College. He did doctoral work in zoology at the University of Chicago, where he earned a PhD in 1941.

He taught at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1954, then came to Caltech as Hixon Professor of Psychobiology. Sperry was best known for his studies of “split brain” patients—usually epileptics whose corpus callosum (the nerve bundle connecting the two halves of the brain) had been severed.

Using innovative experimental and surgical techniques, he demonstrated that the brain’s right hemisphere is normally dominant for such things as spatial awareness and musical comprehension, whereas the left hemisphere tends to control verbal and analytical tasks. Sperry taught and conducted research at the Institute until 1984, when he was named emeritus.


Kenneth Wilson was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work to construct improved theories about the transformations of matter called continuous, or second-order, phase transitions. His research led to a very general and effective mathematical strategy for understanding how complex microscopic behavior underlies gross macroscopic effects.

Wilson received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1956. He then came to Caltech to do graduate work with Murray Gell-Mann. He received his doctorate in 1961. He worked for a year with the European Council for Nuclear Research, then joined the faculty at Cornell University, where he remained until 1988. Since 1988, he has taught at the Ohio State University.


Willy Fowler shared (with S. Chandrasekhar) the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on nucleosynthesis, the process whereby the nuclei of lighter chemical elements fuse to create heavier ones. 

In groundbreaking work in the late 1950s, he and his colleagues demonstrated that, starting only with the hydrogen and helium produced in the Big Bang, all the elements from carbon to uranium could be produced by the nuclear processes in stars.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University in 1933, Fowler came to Caltech to study with Charles Lauritsen. He received his doctorate in 1936, and remained at the Institute as a research fellow until 1939, when he was appointed assistant professor. 

He was named Institute Professor of Physics in 1970, and emeritus in 1982. During World War II, he carried out research and development on rocket ordnance and proximity fuses for Caltech’s rocket project. More recently, Fowler studied neutrinos (the subatomic particles released during nuclear reactions), quasars, and pulsars. 


Rudy Marcus won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1992 for his development of a theory of electron transfer in chemical reactions. This work has increased scientific understanding of a wide variety of fundamental processes, including photosynthesis, corrosion, and cell metabolism.

Marcus, a native of Canada, was educated at McGill University in Montreal. He received his PhD in 1946. He did postdoctoral research for the next five years, then joined the faculty of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Marcus began in the 1950s to study the forces that govern electrons as they move from one atom to another in chemical reactions, and first published his ideas between 1956 and 1965. 

In 1964 he moved to the University of Illinois, where he spent 14 years with the division of physical chemistry. In 1978 he came to Caltech as Noyes Professor of Chemistry, the post he holds today.

Although not universally accepted until validated experimentally in the mid-1980s, Marcus’s theories brought new order and method to many different subspecialties of chemistry. His predictions about why some chemical reactions proceed much faster than others were accessible to both theorists and experimentalists, and helped sort out what had been a mass of contradictory observations.
EDWARD B. LEWIS (1918-2004)
Ed Lewis shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus for their research into “the genetic control of early embryonic development.” 

He was specifically recognized for his studies of how genetic mutations in Drosophila fruit flies affect the insect’s development.

Lewis received his bachelor’s degree in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota, then came to Caltech to do graduate work. 

He received his PhD in 1942. He then studied meteorology at the Institute as an Army Air Force cadet. During World War II, he served as a weather forecaster in Hawaii and on board a ship outside Okinawa. In 1946, Lewis returned to Caltech as a member of the biology faculty, and in 1966 was named the Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor Biology. He became emeritus in 1988, but still can be found studying flies in his campus lab. 

Though focused chiefly on Drosophila, Lewis’s work has helped expand scientific understanding of development in other organisms as well. Of particular significance were his discoveries about homeotic genes. These genes tell the initially undifferentiated cells of an embryo where and how to form the many different tissues and organs of the body, and are remarkably similar in all creatures—from fruit flies to mice to humans.


California Institute of Technology

Nobel Prize