Luria, Salvador Edward

Luria, Salvador Edward,

1912–1991, American physician, b. Turin, Italy, M.D., Univ. of Turin, 1935. He conducted research and taught at the Institute of Radium in Paris (1938–40), Columbia (1940–42), Indiana Univ. (1943–50), and the Univ. of Illinois (1950–59) before joining the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959. In 1969 Luria, Max DelbrückDelbrück, Max Ludwig Henning
, 1906–1981, American biophysicist, b. Berlin, Germany. Ph.D, Univ. of Göttingen, 1930. He spent most of his career as a professor at the California Institute of Technology.
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, and Alfred HersheyHershey, Alfred Day,
1908–1997, American microbiologist, b. Owosso, Mich., Ph.D., Michigan State College (now Michigan State Univ.), 1934. Hershey was a professor at the Washington Univ.
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 were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for uncovering new information about the replication mechanism and genetic structure of viruses. Beginning in 1940, the researchers, working in parallel, became interested in using bacteriophagesbacteriophage
, virus that infects bacteria and sometimes destroys them by lysis, or dissolution of the cell. Bacteriophages, or phages, have a head composed of protein, an inner core of nucleic acid—either deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA)—and a
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 (viruses that infect bacteria) to study such fundamental life processes as self-replication and mutation. Luria conducted experiments that supported Delbrück's finding that radiation-induced genetic damage in bacteriophages could be repaired by gene exchange. The collective work of these three scientists contributed substantially to the discipline of virology and to the progress of molecular biology.

Luria, Salvador Edward


Born Aug. 13, 1912, in Turin, Italy. American microbiologist. Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (1959).

Luria received his medical education in Turin (1935). After working in F. Joliot-Curie’s laboratory in Paris (1938-40), he emigrated to the USA. He was a professor of bacteriology at Indiana University in Indianapolis from 1943 to 1950 and at the University of Illinois in Urbana from 1950 to 1959. From 1959 to 1964 he was a professor of microbiology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Luria is one of the pioneers of microbial genetics. He has done studies on virology and described the structure of bacteriophages. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize (jointly with A. Hershey and M. Delbriick) for his work in molecular biology.


General Virology, 2nd ed. New York, 1967. (With J. E. Darnell.)