Daniel Carleton Gajdusek

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Gajdusek, Daniel Carleton


Born Sept. 9, 1923, in Yonkers, N. Y. American physician.

Gajdusek graduated from the medical department of the University of Rochester in 1943 and studied at Harvard University from 1949 to 1952. He worked at the Pasteur Institute in Tehran in 1954 and at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, from 1955 to 1957. He began working at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke of the US National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Md., in 1958.

Gajdusek’s main works deal with pediatrics, genetics, and human evolution in isolated populations. He has also studied the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases and degenerative diseases of the nervous system. His study of kuru disease, caused by a rampant virus infection in New Guinea, served as the basis for the modern study of slow virus infections.

Gajdusek was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976.


Acute Infections, Hemorrhagic Fevers and Mycotoxicoses in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Washington, 1953.
Slow, Latent and Temperate Virus Infections. [Washington] 1965. (Coauthor.)
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Daniel Gajdusek, Michale Alpers, and Baruch Blumberg won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976 for their research demonstrating prion diseases were infectious across species, so this is of great concern to humans.
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