Thomas Cech Biography
Birthday: December 8, 1947 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Thomas Robert Cech is an American chemist who was jointly awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1989 along with American molecular biologist Sidney Altman, for his pioneering discovery of the part that ribonucleic acid (RNA), a polymeric molecule, plays as a molecule of hereditary as also of its catalytic properties. He found out that RNA, one of the nucleic acids, has the capacity to cut fine threads of RNA, a finding which displayed that there is a possibility that life was initiated as RNA. His contributing research works also included examination of telomeres, an area of repetitious nucleotide series present at all the ends of a chromosome that shields the chromosome ends from deteriorating and also from synthesizing with other chromosomes. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), a catalytic subunit of the enzyme telomerase, which is part of the procedure to restore telomeres following their reduction at the time of cell division, was discovered in his lab. He received several awards and recognition for his scientific contributions. These included the ‘Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize’ from ‘Columbia University’ and the ‘Heineken Prize’ from the ‘Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences’ in 1988; the ‘National Medal of Science’ from the President of the United States in 1995; and the ‘Othmer Gold Medal’ in 2007 presented together by the ‘Chemical Heritage Foundation’, the ‘American Chemical Society’ (ACS), the ‘Société de Chimie Industrielle’ (American section), ‘The Chemists’ Club’ and the ‘American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE).