Baltimore, David

Baltimore, David

biographical name

(born March 7, 1938, New York, N.Y., U.S.) U.S. virologist. He received his doctorate from the Rockefeller Institute. He and Howard Temin (1934–94), working independently, discovered an enzyme that synthesizes DNA from RNA, the reverse of the usual process. This enzyme, reverse transcriptase, has become an invaluable tool in recombinant DNA technology. The research of Baltimore, Temin, and Renato Dulbecco helped illuminate the role of viruses in cancer; the three men shared a Nobel Prize in 1975. In 1990 Baltimore became president of Rockefeller University. He served as president of the California Institute of Technology from 1997 to 2006, when he was elected to a three-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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