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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 18 (2013) pp 227-232
DOI 10.1007/s00897132503

François Jacob (1920–2013), the Last Survivor of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Laureates, Dies at Age 92

George B. Kauffman* and Jean-Pierre Adloff

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,; Honorary Professor, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France F-67100,

Published: 13 September 2013

Abstract. François Jacob (1920–2013), the last survivor of the trio that won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis” died on Friday, April 19, 2013 at the age of 92. On Wednesday, April 24, 2013 he was memorialized in a military ceremony at Les Invalides military monument in Paris. A visionary scientist and a humanist with an extraordinary perception of the workings of the scientific mind, he was one of the founders of molecular biology. His research at the Institut Pasteur in Paris dealt primarily with the genetic mechanisms in bacteria and bacteriophages and the biochemical effects of mutations. This article summarizes his life, career, and research, especially his Nobel-winning work.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; history of physiology; history of medicine; Nobel laureates; French scientists; Jewish scientists; molecular biology; cellular genetics; microbiology; biochemistry; enzymes; viruses; bacteria; bacteriophages; DNA; mutations; transcriptional regulation; cell division regulation; disease regulation; RNA; messenger RNA; proteins; atheism

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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