Howard Martin Temin

Howard Martin Temin (born 10 December 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, † February 9, 1994 in Madison, Wisconsin) was an American biologist. He was awarded in 1975 for his discoveries in the field of cancer research with David Baltimore and Renato Dulbecco of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Curriculum vitae

After childhood and youth in Philadelphia Temin studied biology at the California Institute of Technology ( " Caltech " ) in Pasadena, California. He turned to the experimental virology and worked in the laboratory of Renato Dulbecco, where he produced his doctoral thesis on the Rous sarcoma virus ( Rous sarcoma virus, RSV). The RSV became for him a model system with which he worked in the following years. By his own admission, he was also heavily influenced by working with Harry Rubin and contact with Max Delbrück. In 1960 he became an Assistant Professor at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In 1964 he formulated there his " provirus hypothesis ," which states that certain viruses with RNA genome ( retroviruses ) can integrate into the human genome and there by external influences (eg radiation, carcinogenic substances or other) are activated and lead to cancer can. This required the transcription of the viral RNA genome into DNA. This hypothesis violated the widespread notion that the information flow always runs only in the direction of DNA → RNA → protein.

Later Temin discovered parallel with David Baltimore, the enzyme which can accomplish this transcription process of RNA to DNA: the reverse transcriptase.

For his achievements, he has received numerous awards, in addition to the Nobel Prize and the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology (1972 ), the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry (1973) and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and a Gairdner Foundation International Award ( both 1974).