Holley, Robert W. (William)(1922–93) biochemist; born in Urbana, Ill. He was a chemist at Cornell University (1942–44, 1946–47), then spent a year at Washington State College. He returned to Cornell (1948–68), where he taught organic chemistry and investigated the biochemistry of botanical substances. During research from 1956–63, he secured the first pure sample of a transfer RNA and elucidated its complete molecular structure, for which he was awarded one-third of the 1968 Nobel Prize in physiology. He moved to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1968), where he explored the growth of malignant and nonmalignant mammalian cells.