Gajdusek, Daniel Carleton

Gajdusek, Daniel Carleton gīdˈəshĕkˌ [key], 1923–2008, American virologist, b. Yonkers, N.Y., grad. Univ. of Rochester; M.D. Harvard, 1945. He worked in the United States, Iran, Australia, and Pacific Islands studying infectious diseases, especially prion diseases and, in particular, kuru, a brain disease caused by prions and spread among the Fore people of New Guinea by ritual cannibalism. In 1958 he joined the National Institutes of Health, where he conducted research and headed (1970–97) the brain studies laboratory of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke. In 1976 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Baruch S. Blumberg.

See R. Klitzman, The Trembling Mountain (1998).

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