Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

Severo Ochoa

spain molecular performed nyu

Molecular biologist, born in Luarca, Spain. He taught and performed research in Europe before coming to the USA to join Washington University (St Louis) (1941–2). At New York University (NYU) (1942–74), he described the mechanism of the Krebs citric acid cycle, which generates cellular energy (1940s–1950s). In 1955 he isolated a bacterial enzyme with which he performed the first test-tube synthesis of various RNAs, enabling the eventual deciphering of the genetic code. For this he shared the 1959 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. After retiring from NYU, he moved to the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology (New Jersey) (1974–85), then returned to Spain as a professor at Universidad Autonoma, Madrid (1985).

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