American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Renato Dulbecco
 Institution:  Salk Institute
 Year Elected:  1993
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1914
 Death Date:  February 19, 2012
A distinguished research professor and president emeritus of the Salk Institute, Italian-born Renato Dulbecco made fundamental contributions to understanding the uncontrolled growth of cells that occurs in cancer. He is best known for his discovery that tumor viruses cause cancer by inserting their own genes into the chromosomes of infected cells. This finding was one of the first clues to the genetic nature of cancer and led to Dr. Dulbecco being awarded a Nobel Prize in 1975. Dr. Dulbecco subsequently began studying the origins and progression of tumors of the breast, using monoclonal antibodies, tools of molecular biology that can identify cells by their chemical signatures, to characterize the tumor cells. In 1986 Dr. Dulbecco launched the idea of studying all human genes, starting the worldwide Human Genome Project. He is the author of The Design of Life (1987), a work that represents, in his words, "the exciting developments that have taken place in biology with accelerated rhythm since the '50s." The last chapter of this book, "A Life Odyssey," is a magisterial summary of the origin and history of living things over the past nearly four billion years.
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