Gerald Edelman Biography
(American Biologist Who Won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for His Work in the Immune System)
Birthday: July 1, 1929 (Cancer)
Born In: Ozone Park, New York, United States
Gerald Edelman was a noted American Immunologist who, along with Rodney Robert Porter, won the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The duo won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the structure of antibody molecules. Initially, Edelman wanted to be a concert vocalist; but later made up his mind to become a doctor. However, while working in U.S. Army Medical Corp in Paris he read a book about immunology, which sparked an interest in antibodies in him. So, he went back to America to join Rockefeller institute for his Ph.D. degree. He then worked on antibodies, which he found were made up of chains of amino acids held together by disulfide bonds. He made exact replica of an antibody and explained how the body produces them in response to antigens. The work not only earned him the Nobel Prize, but also opened the door for further investigations. Later, he started working on primary cellular process and discovered cell adhesion molecules, which binds cells together to form tissues. He then began to work on how the brain gives rise to the mind and established the theory of Neuronal Group Selection, also known as ‘Neural Darwinism’. He also authored number of books, in some of which he had also explained his ideas to layman.