David Baltimore Biography
Birthday: March 7, 1938 (Pisces)
Born In: New York City, New York, United States
David Baltimore is an American biologist who won a share of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. As a researcher, he has made tremendous contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research. He has served as president of Rockefeller University and also as president of the California Institute of Technology. He became interested in biology as a high school student after spending a summer at the Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor. This prompted him to choose biology as a major in college. However, he soon shifted to chemistry and received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College following which he proceeded to study animal virology at the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller University). He started graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biophysics and eventually took the Cold Spring Harbor course on animal virology, then taught by Dr. Richard Franklin and Dr. Edward Simon. Following this, he moved to Franklin's lab at the Rockefeller Institute where he performed pioneering research on animal virology. Later in his career, he independently discovered reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that synthesizes DNA from RNA, and researched on interaction between viruses and the genetic material of the cell. His research, along with that of Howard M. Temin and Renato Dulbecco contributed to the understanding of the role of viruses in the development of cancer.