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Andre Lwoff; Molecular Biology Pioneer, Nobel Prize Winner

October 07, 1994|From Associated Press

PARIS — Andre Lwoff, a pioneer in the field of molecular biology and a co-winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine, has died at age 92.

Lwoff died Sept. 30 in Paris, the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel said this week.

The scientist shared his Nobel Prize with two French colleagues, Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod, for their discovery that the genetic material of a virus can be assimilated by bacteria and passed on to succeeding generations.

Lwoff earlier discovered that genetic material can exist outside the cell's nucleus.

Born May 8, 1902, in Ainay-Le-Chateau, Lwoff got his first science degree at age 19 and in 1921 entered the Pasteur Institute, France's world-renowned research center.

After World War II, his attic headquarters, where he worked with Jacob and Monod, fast became one of the key sites of the molecular revolution.

His work on the role of vitamins--components needed for life--demonstrated that they could function as enzymes.

From 1959 to 1968, Lwoff held the chair in microbiology at the University of Paris' Faculty of Science. He was visiting professor at numerous universities, including Harvard and the University of Chicago.

Lwoff was a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, Royal Society of London and Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

In later years, he became active in family planning and was president of the French Movement for Family Planning from 1970-74.

Lwoff is the author of two works: "L'Ordre Biologique" (The Biological Order), 1969, and "Jeux et Combats" (Games and Combat), 1981.

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