- NAME: Renato Dulbecco
- OCCUPATION: Educator, Scientist
- BIRTH DATE: February 22, 1914
- DEATH DATE: February 19, 2012
- Did You Know?: As a child, Renato Dulbecco built a vacuum-tube radio so his mother could listen to opera.
- EDUCATION: University of Turin
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Catanzaro, Italy
- PLACE OF DEATH: La Jolla, California
Best Known For
Renato Dulbecco was an Italian-American virologist best known for winning the Nobel Prize for pioneering the growing of viruses in culture.
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It also led Dulbecco in 1962 to become a founding member of the Salk Institute and in 1972 to take an assignment at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, where the scientist had the opportunity to work with human cancers.
In 1975, Dulbecco shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard M. Temin and David Baltimore, for their work in cancer cell transformation. Dulbecco attributed much of his success to the work he did with colleagues such as Giuseppe Levi, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Herman Muller, Max Delbrück and Marguerite Vogt. In his Nobel Prize address, Dulbecco called for increased restrictions on tobacco use and urged governments to make greater efforts to limit the introduction of dangerous chemicals into the environment.
In 1977, Dulbecco returned to the Salk Institute and joined the medical faculty at the University of California, San Diego. In 1986, he suggested that a genome project be started to further the understanding of DNA and cancer. Though not well received at first by his colleagues, the genome project has since proved invaluable to biological research. Dulbecco retired to La Jolla, California, and died of natural causes on February 19, 2012, just three days short of his 98th birthday.
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