April 2010

Retrospective: Marshall Nirenberg (1927–2010)

Nirenberg continued to make significant discoveries in neurobiology and genetics, studying gene expression, stem-cell differentiation and nervous-system development. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received many awards and honors, including the National Medal of Science in 1966 and the National Medal of Honor in 1968.

“Despite his reputation for modesty, Dr. Nirenberg inspired generations of students and scholars who devoted their careers to studying the ‘code of life,’ genetics and neurobiology,” said Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH. “He not only was a scientist’s scientist, but a mentor’s mentor. During his life, he was awarded virtually every high honor reserved for science and medicine. Just last fall, in an occasion marked by a symposium in his honor, the American Chemical Society designated Dr. Nirenberg’s work as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.”

Nicole Kresge (nkresge@asbmb.org) is the editor of ASBMB Today.


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