Marshall Warren Nirenberg


Marshall Warren Nirenberg
(1927)



American biochemist and Nobel laureate who played a major role in deciphering the genetic code. He demonstrated that, with the exception of "nonsense codons," each possible triplet (called a codon) of four different kinds of nitrogen-containing bases found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and, in some viruses, in ribonucleic acid (RNA) ultimately causes the incorporation of a specific amino acid into a cell protein.
Nirenberg received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1957, and that year joined the staff of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. His research earned him the National Medal of Science in 1965 and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1968, which he shared with Robert William Holley and Har Gobind Khorana, whose work, like Nirenberg's, helped to show how genetic instructions in the cell nucleus control the composition of proteins.



Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.