Cech, Thomas Robert
Cech, Thomas Robert(chĕk), 1947–, American microbiologist, b. Chicago, grad. Univ. of California, Berkeley. A professor at the Univ. of Colorado, he discovered that RNA could function as enzymes; it was previously thought that enzymatic activity was only possible in protein molecules. His discovery has a potential use in fighting viral infections. For this work, Cech shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sidney AltmanAltman, Sidney,
1939–, Canadian-American molecular biologist, b. Montreal, Ph.D., Univ. of Colorado, 1967. A professor at Yale Univ. since 1971, he discovered that RNA could function as enzymes; it was previously thought that enzymatic activity was only possible in protein
..... Click the link for more information. , who independently made the same discovery. In 2000 he became president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a philanthropic organization that is an important underwriter of biomedical research and education.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/